Cops asked to seek HQ opinion before recording case | 2017-08-03 |

Section 57

Cops asked to seek HQ opinion before recording case

Staff Correspondent

3 August, 2017 12:00 AM printer

Amid unbridled abuse of Section 57 of the ICT Act, the police headquarters has issued a directive to all law enforcement officials, asking them to seek opinion of the top bosses before accepting any case under the law.


Saheli Ferdous, assistant inspector general of police (media), confirmed it to journalists.


Scores of people, mostly journalists, were sued under Section 57 for reports and social media comments across the country.


The authorities concerned are apparently moved by a case filed recently against a journalist in Khulna by one of his colleagues for allegedly making derogatory comment about a lawmaker.


The journalist community has been demanding annulment of the impugned section of the law.


Law Minister Anisul Huq earlier gave an indication that Section 57 may be obliterated.


But a speculation is rife that similar provision of the law may appear in the Digital Security Act to be enacted by the government.


Around 700 cases have been filed under Section 57 since 2013 when the draconian law came into effect.


Last month, Editors’ Council, an organisation of the editors of leading national dailies of Bangladesh, and Newspaper Owners Association of Bangladesh in separate statements demanded repeal of the section for being repressive.


They urged the government not to include any identical provision in the Digital Security Act.


Road Transport and Bridges Minister and ruling Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader at a programme on Wednesday said Section 57 should not be abused.