The High Court has acquitted Dr. HBM Iqbal’s family of their respective charges in a 2007 corruption allegation case. They have also been discharged from their respective bail bonds. Honorable Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice Krishna Debnath of the High court division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh issued the decision on 20 May 2018.
During the incumbency of the Military Government in the year 2007, one of the Deputy Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), filed the case with Gulshan Police Station on June 25, 2007, under section 27 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2004 with Section 109 of the Penal Code. The case statement alleged that HBM Iqbal in his wealth statement concealed information about some of his properties including the properties of his dependents.
On March 11 in 2008, the lower court convicted Mr. Dr. HBM Iqbal and the four members of his family- wife Dr. Momtaz Begum Dolly, sons Moin Iqbal and Imran Iqbal and daughter Nawrin Iqbal and fined them also. The trial was an ex-parte one where the accused did not have any chance to defend them. After emerging the democratic Government, Dr. HBM Iqbal being a Principal Accused challenged the legality of the said conviction before the Honorable High Court Division & in due course of Law has been acquitted from all the charges. On 20th May 2018 the Honorable High Court Division in another Criminal Appeal has also acquitted Dr. HBM Iqbal’s family of their respective charges. The Court in its judgment observed that the allegation under section 27(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2004 is not applicable against the convict-appellants who are admittedly dependents of Dr. HBM Iqbal and no specific charge of abatement has also been framed against the appellant. The charge was framed against the Dr. HBM Iqbal, who was earlier acquitted by the High Court Division. The court also observed that, the witnesses of the prosecution failed to provide any credible witness to consider.
The honorable High Court after considering all the facts and circumstances of the case and appreciating the provision of section 27(1) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2004 along with relevant provision of law found that, the lower court has miserably failed to conceive of the spirit of provision of that section of law, thereby was not justified in convicting and sentencing the appellants. Therefore, in a long battle of law in a criminal appeal, the Honorable High Court Division finding no reason to uphold the jail sentences acquitted them from their respective charges.