HC scraps expelled Jubo League leader Samrat’s bail

The High Court has scrapped the bail order of expelled Jubo League leader Ismail Hossain Chowdhury Samrat in a case of money laundering and illegal wealth accumulation.

The High Court bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo issued the order on Wednesday after hearing an appeal filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission. It also ordered Samrat to surrender to the judicial court within a week.

Lawyer Md Khurshid Alam Khan represented the ACC while lawyer Mansurul Haque Chowdhury was the defence counsel. Attorney General AM Amin Uddin and Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state.

Earlier on May 11, Judge Al Asad Md Asifuzzaman of Dhaka Special Judge Court-6 granted bail to Samrat in a case over money laundering and illegal wealth accumulation.

The ACC challenged the decision on May 14, calling for bail to be scrapped. The court then scheduled Wednesday for the verdict following a hearing.

“According to the High Court, the judge has not considered the case but issued the bail order only on medical grounds. He granted bail based on two medical reports from 2020 and 2021 and also asked for a medical report that states Samrat's health status as of Jun 9," said lawyer Khurshid Alam.

“The judicial court has granted bail to Ismail Hossain Chowdhury Samrat based on his medical report. But the legal process for it requires a hearing on the medical report in which both parties participate. This wasn’t done in Samrat’s case. The High Court considered our argument and scrapped his bail," he said.

Before granting bail, the judge should have waited for the medical board's report updated to Jun 9, he said. Then he could have granted or rejected bail, but this was not done.

Also, section 13 of the Money Laundering Prevention Act mentions some conditions to grant bail in such cases, which were not fulfilled, the lawyer said. "The High Court warned the judge not to repeat these mistakes in the future. " 

Among the four cases against him, Samrat secured bail in a possession of arms case and a money laundering case from two separate Dhaka courts on Apr 10. He was granted bail in the narcotics case on Apr 11.

After he secured bail in all cases, Samrat got released on May 12 from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Medical University where he was receiving treatment.

Though he was released, Samrat remained in the hospital as he needed medical treatment, Brig Gen Nazrul Islam, director of BSMMU had said at the time.