The High Court (HC) has asked a judge in Chandpur to explain why he recorded a confessional statement of a 16-year-old accused after knowing he was tortured by police, instead of taking steps against the police officers.
The HC on Sunday asked Md Noor-e-Alam, the chief judicial magistrate of Chandpur, to submit a written explanation to the court within four weeks.
A HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman issued the order on Sunday and granted bailed to the accused juvenile named Farhad. He was arrested over a murder case filed under Matlab Police Station.
During the hearing, Barrister Rimi Nahrin represented the accused in the court, while Deputy Attorney General Sarwar Hossain Bappi represented the state.
Speaking to journalists, Nahrin said, "In a copy of Farhad's confessional statement to the magistrate in the murder case, the magistrate himself said, 'the evidence of the accused being tied up and beaten is proved by the sore marks under his wrists.' It appears that the accused made this statement out of fear of remand."
The magistrate also stated in a memorandum, "The accused said at one stage, the police threatened him that he will be remanded and beaten again if he does not plead guilty and beaten again."
According to the memorandum, the accused said, "Every time I don't admit my guilt, I will be remanded. I have pleaded guilty for this."
Mentioning this in the memorandum, the magistrate stated the confession of the accused was not voluntary.
Rimi Nahrin said the HC has asked the magistrate to submit a written statement within a month explaining how and why the confessional statement of the accused was recorded despite knowing the confession was not voluntary.
According to the case statement, Sohail Rana, a student from Chandpur was killed by his friends and relatives over an expensive mobile phone on 19 August 2019. His brother filed a case in this regard without accusing anyone by name. Later, Farhad, Mehedi and Rubel were arrested over the murder. They each confessed to killing Sohail for the mobile.
Following his arrest, Farhad, the main accused in the case, went to the court asking bail in the case, when it was revealed he is 16-years-old, even though the charge sheet states he is 19 years old.
The HC expressed displeasure about the false claim about the accused's age in the charge sheet. The court also show caused the magistrate for recording a confessional statement despite knowing the accused has been tortured by police.
The court said, "It is the duty of a judge to take steps against police if marks of torture is found."