In a landmark verdict, the High Court yesterday upheld five years’ jail sentence of a convict in a narcotics-related case, but allowed him to stay with his family on three conditions.
The court granted probation facilities to convict Moti Matbor so that he can stay with his family without going to jail on the conditions.
According to the conditions, Moti must ensure continuation of studies of his 10th-grader daughter and second-grader son, take care of his 75-year-old mother and cannot arrange marriage of his daughter, now 15, until she turns 18 as per the relevant law.
If Moti, now on bail, complies with the conditions for next one and a half years, he needs not to go to jail and serve the imprisonment, otherwise, his probation facilities will be cancelled and he will have to serve the imprisonment, the HC ruled in the verdict.
The probation officer concerned will monitor whether Moti complies with the conditions for one and a half years, the HC said.
The bench of Justice Zafar Ahmed came up with the verdict after hearing a revision petition filed by Moti challenging the trial court judgement that sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment in the case.
Moti’s lawyer Mohammad Shishir Manir told The Daily Star that this is the second HC verdict that granted probation facilities to a convict without sending him to prison.
This is a landmark verdict of the HC under the Probation Ordinance-1960 as convict Moti can live with his family instead of suffering in jail.
The verdict is very encouraging, the lawyer said, adding that Moti has no record of committing any other crimes and his conduct is good.
The lawyer said police arrested Moti, of Shuvadda area in Keraniganj, with 411 yaba tablets on November 23, 2015. A case was filed with Kotwali Police Station in Dhaka the same day.
On January 8, 2017, the Joint Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court in Dhaka sentenced Moti to five years’ imprisonment and fined him Tk 20,000 in the case.
Moti filed an appeal with the Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court challenging the verdict.
On May 11, 2017, the Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the five years’ jail sentence of Moti.
The same year, he filed a revision petition with the HC challenging the trial court verdict.
After hearing of the petition, the HC bench delivered the judgment yesterday.
Lawyer Shishir said his client already served 20 months in jail.
The HC granted him bail on July 9, 2017, he added.
Deputy Attorney General Enamul Haque Mollah represented the state.