The High Court, in a first of its kind order in the country, conditionally released a convicted person on probation instead of sending him to jail.
A single bench of the High Court Justice Zafar Ahmed, on Sunday, handed down the verdict after rejecting the revision petition filed by the accused.
Moti Matbar of Shariatpur was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment in a drug case under the Narcotic Control Act in 2017.
The three conditions are as follows: the convicted person must take care of his 75-year-old mother; he must continue the education of his daughter and son, currently studying in Class-X and Class-II respectively; and he cannot marry off his daughter before she attains legal age.
Accused Moti Matbar filed the petition in the High Court on 1 July 2017, seeking cancellation of punishment and release on probation in accordance with the Probation of Offenders Ordinance, 1960.
On Sunday, the HC allowed the convict to remain with his family on probation for one and a half years under the supervision of a probation officer, giving him a chance to reform himself.
This is a landmark judgment in the history of Bangladesh in the High Court under the Probation of Offenders Ordinance-1960, said, lawyers.
Immediately after the verdict, the accused was handed over to the custody of Dhaka District Probation Officer, Md Azizur Rahman Masud.
The court also declared that his probation would be cancelled if he violated the conditions.
Lawyer Mohammad Shishir Monir represented the accused in the court.
In a case filed on 23 November 2015 at Kotwali Police Station in Dhaka, Moti Matbar and another individual were charged with possession of 411 pieces and 700 pieces of yaba tablets respectively. Following the investigation, the police submitted a charge sheet against the accused on 24 November 2015.
On 8 January 2016, the Joint Metropolitan Magistrate's Court sentenced the accused to 5 years rigorous imprisonment and fined them Tk20,000 each.
On May 11, 2017, the Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge upheld the judgment of the Judicial Court during the appeal hearing. On 9 July 2017, the High Court granted him bail. Therefore, Moti Matbar served time for only 20 months since his arrest on 23 November 2015, against the original sentence of five years.
Earlier in 2019, the Supreme Court (SC) issued a directive to lower court judges to allow convicts to go on probation to reform themselves to make the ordinance more effective.