Eighteen eminent citizens of the country urged Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain to step in to help students, arrested in political cases over the last two months, get bail before Eid-ul-Fitr.
They also sought investigations to find out if the students had been tortured in police custody.
More than a hundred students from universities and colleges were arrested. Most of them have been placed on police remand by lower courts.
The cases under which the students were shown arrested are as old as few months to few years. "Allegations are there that the cases were filed as part of political harassment," they said in a letter sent to the chief justice on Saturday.
"We think these students whom we love as our children" should be granted bail, considering the prevailing Covid situation and upcoming Eid, and above all that for the sake of justice, the letter said.
Among the eminent citizens are Kamal Hossain, president of the Gano Forum; Gonoshasthaya Kendra trustee Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury, and Asif Nazrul, chairman of the law department of Dhaka University.
They requested the chief justice to give a directive that no one other than the aggrieved person will be able to file a case under Digital Security Act, bringing allegations of derogatory comments.
They said they were worried that bureaucratic tangles and procedural complications at the lower courts had become a barrier to the release of the students on bail.
"As the chief justice, you are leading the efforts to establish the rule of law, human rights and justice in the country," said the citizens, appealing to the chief justice to use his constitutional power to take measures to that end.