Saturday, 23 June 2018

Move to revoke Sec-57 lauded

Ahmed Raju

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu’s remark on the proposed removal of the Section-57 from the Information and Communication Technology Act has well appreciated by different quarters. Dr Asif Nazrul, a professor of law at Dhaka University, said the Section needs to be revoked from the law immediately. Any person arrested in a case filed under the Section is kept in police custody or jail for days before his/her trial ends, Asif said, adding, the accused is harassed in different ways. Lauding the decision to scrap the Section, he said, “If the government decided really to do so, it is indeed a big deal. The government has long been saying that it decided in principal to revoke the Section.” He also raised his eyebrows, questioning why the government was approving cases under the law if it had really decided to remove the Section.Many were facing physical, psychological and financial losses through the cases under the Section, he observed.He demanded that such cases be withdrawn, urging the government to ensure that not a single accused is harassed again. Meanwhile, Barrister Shafiq Ahmed, former law minister, termed the Section contrary to basic rights and said it should have been revoked earlier. Law is indeed for humans. But if any law victimises humans, it needs to be cancelled urgently, he added. “Democratic system will embody the freedom of speech, which the Section-57 has snatched away. Many people faced harassment through it,” he continued. “So, it needs to examine any law before being adopted,” he said, appreciating the government decision, labelling it a timely one. Asked what will happen to the cases filed under the Section, he said, “It will entirely depend on how the Section-57 is being revoked. If a Section of law is withdrawn, the cases lodged under it get resolved”. “But, if it is mentioned that trial into the cases will continue, the accused will have to suffer,” he feared.
Translated by: Sayeed Muhammad

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