The High Court (HC) granted bail to Ayesha Siddiqe Minni in Rifat Shorif murder case in Barguna. HC bench, consisting Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mustafizur Rahman, passed the order on Thursday.
In its order the HC bench said that the bail was granted to Minni on condition that she would not say anything to the media about the case. Before granting the bail, the court considered her age, relevancy to the case, and status as an eye witness.
Minni, the first witness in ‘Rifat murder case’, was shown arrested after she was taken to Barguna Police Line for questioning. Later, her deposition was recorded at the court under section 164.
On Thursday, apart from the bail order, the court also recommended for preparing a guideline concerning press-briefings by the law enforcement officials during the investigation of a case; the guideline should specify the extent of information that can be revealed by an official to the media. The court asked for the attention of the home secretary and inspector general of police (IGP) in this regard.
ZI Khan Panna, Minni’s lawyer, said, “The High Court ordered that Minni remains in her father Mozammel Hossain Kishor’s custody and must not talk to the media while she is on bail.”
“Justice prevailed. And conspiracy will end,” said Minni’s father, as he spoke to the media after the verdict.
M Srawar Hossain Bappi, deputy attorney general, and Shahana Pervin, assistant attorney general, represented the state, opposing Minni’s bail petition.
Earlier, on Wednesday, Senior Advocate Monsurul Haque Chowdhury presented his opinion at the court regarding the bail petition. During the hearing, he said that Minni wasn’t charged for hitting Rifat Shorif directly.
He said, “Although Minni’s age has been known to be 19; upon careful investigation, it might be found that her actual age is below 18. Besides, she lost her husband, and has been in pain. Also, granting her bail will not hinder investigation at this stage.”
“So, there are enough reasons to grant her bail. If she is involved in the murder, there is also an option to issue a supplementary charge sheet,” Monsurul Haque Chowdhury concluded.
On August 20, the HC summoned the investigation officer in the case, while ordering the Superintendent of Police (SP), Barguna, to explain the reason for holding a press briefing regarding the case on July 18.
The SP, Barguna, submitted his explanation on Wednesday; the explanation was considered by the HC bench and lawyers, who represented the state. However, Minni’s lawyer was not allowed to see it.