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HC questions legality of hacking e-mail, Skype

Sedition case filed against Amar Desh editor

Staff Correspondent

The High Court on Thursday questioned the legality of the Skype conservation between former International Crimes Tribunal 1 chairman Justice Md Nizamul Haq and Bangladehi expatriate Ahmed Ziauddin being recorded by way of hacking.
The bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury and Justice Farid Ahmed also asked the government and the law enforcement agencies to explain in two weeks why they should not be directed, in keeping with the information and communications technology law, to arrest and prosecute the offenders who hacked in to record the conversation and published it.
Home, law, information, posts and telecommunications secretaries, the Supreme Court registrar, the inspector general of police, the deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police of Dhaka, the Tejgaon police officer-in charge and  Mahmudur Rahman have been made respondents to the rule and the order.
It also imposed a ban on further publication of the conservation which had been published by the daily Amar Desh since December 9 until the ruling was disposed of.
A prosecutor dealing with war crimes cases in international crimes tribunals, meanwhile, filed a sedition case against the acting Amar Desh editor Mahmudur Rahman and the publisher, Hasmat Ali, for publishing the Skype conversation between Nizamul Haq ad Ahmed Ziauddin.
The prosecutor, Shahidur Rahman, filed the case with the chief metropolitan magistrate’s court of Dhaka about 7:30pm.
Magistrate Hasibul Haque directed the Tejgaon police officer-in-charge to register the case as the first information report and take legal action against the accused. In keeping with the Code of Criminal Procedure Code, the police can arrest the accused charged with sedition without any warrant for arrest.
The High court bench, on the other hand, ordered the district magistrate to hold an inquiry whether the press and publication law had been violated by way of the conversation being published in the newspaper and submit a report to it by January 7.
It also asked authorities to submit a report by January 7 on the steps they would have taken against the people involved in publishing the conversation in the newspaper.
The Tribunal 1 chair, Justice Md Nizamul Haq, resigned his position on Tuesday amid controversies over the alleged conversation with Ahmed Ziauddin on Skype. The conversations reveals Justice Nizamul’s personal views about different individuals, including his fellow tribunal judges, and jurists.
The bench passed the order after hearing a public interest litigation petition filed under criminal jurisdiction by Supreme Court lawyer Azher Ullah Bhuiyan challenging the legality of conversations being hacked in for recording and seeking a direction on the government to bring criminal proceedings against the people involved in the hacking and publishing it in the newspaper.
The petitioner also sought a direction on the government to suspend the publication of Amar Desh.
The petitioner’s lawyer AKM Shafiuddin told the court that hacking was an offence under the information and communications technology law.
He also submitted that hacking in to record conservations of individuals was a violation of rights to privacy as enshrined in the constitution.

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