False cyber-crime cases rise in BD
2021-09-07 03:55:34 BdST
2021-09-16 20:54:47 BdST
Live Correspondent: More than 4,500 cases have been filed with the cyber tribunal since its formation in 2013, with the number of cases rising, but it has acquitted suspects in most of the cases.
Lawyers say the allegations are false in many cases while police are not skilled enough to prove the charges. Bangladesh had only one cyber-crime tribunal, in Dhaka, until seven more were formed to cover all the divisions this year, reports bdnews24.com.
Records show 33 cases were filed with the tribunal in 2014 and the annual number rose gradually to 1,189 in 2019. People filed 1,128 cases amid the pandemic in 2020, and 447 until March this year.
Out of the total 4,675 cases, the accused have been convicted and sentenced in 21 cases, while the suspects have been acquitted in 114 others. In 124 other cases, the accused were acquitted during charge-framing.
The tribunal sentenced Moazzem Hossain, former OC of Sonagazi Police Station in Feni, in November 2019 for circulating madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi’s video statement on social media. The girl was burnt alive for accusing the principal of sexual harassment. It was the last significant verdict by the tribunal.
The other important verdicts include the acquittal of hanged war criminal Salauddin, Quader Chowdhury’s wife Farhat Quader Chowdhury, and son Hummam Quader Chowdhury in September 2015 in a case over leaking the war crimes verdict. Five others, including the lawyer for Salauddin, AKM Fakhrul Islam, were sentenced to different terms in prison.
In January last year, the tribunal acquitted the writer, publisher, and printer of charges of hurting religious sentiments in a book, ‘Islam Bitorko’.
The accused were Ba-Dwip Prokason owner and editor of the book Shamsuzzoha Manik, his brother Shamsul Alam Chanchal, and Shabdokoli Printers owner Taslimuddin Kajol.
Only nine out of 17 state witnesses testified in the tribunal. The investigation officer, Inspector Zafar Ali Biswas, did not appear after the date was set 17 times.
One of the witnesses testified that the police had taken his signature during the seizure of the book, but he did not know the name of the book. Another witness said she did not sign the list of seized materials but was named as a witness.
The sub-inspector, who started the case, said he did not have enough knowledge about technology.
“The verdict proved harassment was the only objective of the case,” writer Manik said after the verdict was out.
One of the many instances of negligence in investigations into cases started with the tribunal was the one under the Digital Security Act against the Dainik Janata newspaper Editor Ahsanullah, Narsingdi businessman Sudhir Saha and four others in July 2018.
Sudhir was named as the No. 1 suspect despite having no Facebook account or email ID. Lawyer Parvez Hashem, an expert in cybercrime cases, said investigators at police stations lacked technological knowledge that led to the acquittal of 90 percent of the suspects.
They now have enough knowledge to investigate the cases while many of the incidents are investigated by the police’s Cyber Crime Unit or Cyber Crime Investigation Division, but the picture has not changed.
“They had not been aware of forensic tests of electronic contents. Now they know it should be done, but don’t do it in time.”
Aminul Goni Tito, a lawyer with expertise in criminal cases, said the police’s lack of legal knowledge is another reason behind the suspects getting acquitted easily.
Swapan Paul, an advisor to Faridpur Puja Udjapon Committee, started a case against journalist Probir Shikder in August 2015 at Kotwali Police Station on charges of defaming former minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.
“But the law stipulates that such accusations can be brought only by the victims, or their family members,” said lawyer Tito. So, he believes, Probir will finally be acquitted,
Dhaka, 06 September (campuslive24.com)//BSC