There is no evidence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's involvement in favour of the allegation brought against her in the video documentary report "All the Prime Minister's Men" by Al Jazeera.
"When a democratically elected head of a country is disputed, the state is disputed. The writ is not valid and not admissible," senior lawyer Kamal Ul Alam told the court in response to the writ petition filed in the High Court (HC) seeking directives to stop broadcasting Al-Jazeera in Bangladesh and remove the report from online platforms.
Kamal Ul Alam is one of the six amici curiae appointed to comment on the writ petition.
Four of them, including senior lawyers Kamal Ul Alam, former attorney generals AJ Mohammad Ali and Fida M Kamal and Dr Shahdin Malik gave their views against the writ.
However, former law minister Abdul Matin Khasru and senior lawyer Prabir Niyogi said there did not impede the writ petition. Also, according to the law of Bangladesh, there is no obstacle to stopping the broadcasting of Al Jazeera.
Amicus curiae is not a party to a particular litigation but permitted by the court to advise it in respect to some matter of law that directly affects the case in question.
The four lawyers said in a statement, Al-Jazeera was not given any legal notice before filing the writ. So, the writ cannot be accepted by the court. They also said under Section-8 of the Digital Security Act, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission could have taken the necessary steps at the beginning, which was not done.
On Monday, the HC bench comprising Justice Md Mujibur Rahman Mia and Justice Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah recorded the views of the six. The court has fixed 17 February as the next day for the presentation of the statement of Attorney General AM Amir Uddin.
The HC on 10 February announced the names of six lawyers as amicus curiae to comment on five issues, including the admissibility of the writ petition seeking directions to stop the broadcasting of Qatar-based television channel Al-Jazeera in Bangladesh.
Amici curiae were asked to express their opinion on the validity of the writ; if any directive issued by the court on the writ will apply to other foreign channels; if any writ (mandamus) without any legal notice can be continued; if it is necessary to stop the broadcast of Al Jazeera in response to the writ; if it is necessary to issue any directive to stop broadcasting the video report after two weeks of broadcasting.
Al Jazeera aired a report on the night of 1 February Titled "All the Prime Minister's Men". Supreme Court Lawyer Enamul Kabir Emon, also the general secretary of Sunamganj district Awami League, filed the writ petition on 8 February, seeking directions to shut down Al Jazeera's broadcasting and website in the country, calling the video-based documentary misleading, hateful and defamatory.