Ref: A government law official has disclosed that there was no bar on producing former junior home minister Lutfuzzaman Babar to the Chittagong court in the 10-truck arms case.
The Supreme Court has scrapped the High Court’s bar on moving Babar from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University on Monday.
A three-strong Appellate Division bench, led by chief justice A B M Khairul Haque, gave the decision in response to a government petition.
Rafique-ul-Haque argued for Babar while attorney general Mahbubey Alam and additional attorney general M K Rahman represented the state.
Following the order, M K Rahman told bdnews24.com: “A Chittagong court had summoned Babar to appear for the 10-truck arms case. The High Court stayed that summons. The Appellate Division has scrapped the High Court order.”
As a result of the decision “no bar remains on producing Babar at the Chittagong court due to the Appellate Division order,” he said.
However, one of Babar’s lawyers, Shah Manjurul Haque told bdnews24.com that even though the High Court order was scrapped by the Appellate Division, Babar can file a new appeal in the matter.
Earlier on Oct 12, the High Court suspended a Chittagong court’s Oct 6 summon for two weeks.
The bench of justices Abdul Awal and FRM Nazmul Ahsan gave the order upon a petition filed by Babar’s lawyer on Oct 7.
On Oct 3, when Babar was shown arrested in the case, Chittagong Metropolitan Magistrates’ Court judge Fazlul Bari had set Oct 13 to produce him before his court.
The police seized 10 truckloads of weapons and ammunition from the CUFL jetty in Chittagong on the night of April 1, 2004.
The arms were allegedly destined for the Indian insurgent group, United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).
The police filed two cases – one under arms law and the other for smuggling.
A five-member investigation committee, headed by the then home secretary Omar Faruq, was also formed for investigating the arms haul case.
DGFI chief Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury, NSI director general Enamur Rahman Chowdhury, deputy inspector general of CID Farrukh Ahmed and deputy inspector general of the police’s Special Branch Shamsul Islam were co-opted into the committee.
The investigations were allegedly biased and so new investigations began after the Awami League-led coalition government came to power.
Consequently, members of the then investigation committee were quizzed and many more high-profile suspects, including two former directors general of the NSI and navy officers, were arrested.