The Supreme Court (SC) has seized the criminal judicial powers of Most Qumrunnaher, the former judge of Dhaka Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-7, who came to the spotlight after making controversial observations in Raintree rape case.
Following the hearing as to why she granted bail to a rape case accused despite a stay by the top court, the appellate division revoked her judicial powers Monday. Earlier, her judicial powers were stripped of temporarily.
Qumrunnaher appeared in court at 9.30 am, and the hearing took place at the chamber of Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain. The judge and Attorney General AM Amin Uddin took part in the hearing. She left the courtroom around 11am.
Content of the court proceedings could not be known as no lawyer, court official or journalist was allowed during the hearing.
Later, SC spokesperson Muhammad Saifur Rahman sent a statement to the media. Mentioning the seizure of her judicial powers, the statement said a full verdict will be published later on.
"The judge is now attached to the law ministry. If she is transferred to any court from there, the Appellate Division has instructed the authorities not to give her judicial powers in criminal cases," Attorney General AM Amin Uddin told The Business Standard in the afternoon.
He said the full verdict will clarify how long the cancellation order will remain effective.
On 11 November, the judge acquitted all five accused on charges of raping two university students at Raintree Hotel in Dhaka's Banani in 2017. In verbal observations, she also said police should not file rape cases after 72 hours of the crime.
The observation met with widespread criticism, and the top court subsequently suspended her judicial powers, and asked the law ministry to reassign Most Qumrunnaher.
The bail order that led to the latest seizure of Qumrunnaher's judicial powers is also in a rape case. According to the case documents, rape accused Aslam Sikder – a private television employee – was granted bail by the High Court in June 2019.
The state appealed to the Appellate Division against the order, and then the bail was stayed. Besides, the case was sent to the lower court for hearing.
Despite the stay order by the top court, the court of Most Qumrunnaher granted bail to the accused.
Subsequently, the Appellate Division summoned the judge for explanation of the bail and she was handed down the verdict Monday after the hearing on that.