Popular Bangladesh actress Pori Moni was freed on Wednesday after 27 days in jail, a day after she was granted bail on a 50,000 taka bond.
Her bail came 21 days after she had filed the petition, and the Supreme Court’s High Court bench strongly denounced the role of lower court judges in granting multiple remands of the actress in a case under the Narcotics Control Act.
In its observations of the lower courts’ remand orders, a bench of Justice Mostafa Zaman Islam and Justices K.M. Zahid Sarwar said: “This cannot happen in any civilised society. Remand is an exceptional matter.
“What evidence the investigating officer presented with the remand pleas and the reasons why the court granted the remand need to be checked.”
In 27 days in captivity, Pori Moni spent seven days on remand.
After coming out from jail on Wednesday, a smiling Pori Moni was busy with selfies. She also threw up an open-palmed salute, displaying the words and symbols she had embossed with mehendi, which would cause a new infamy in a few minutes. “Don’t love me…” it said, with an added expletive for effect.
With juicy gossip regularly being published against Pori Moni, a petition was filed by a lawyer on August 25, seeking a directive from the High Court to the government to remove reports, videos and photographs that were “defamatory and character assassinating” for her, along with a few others.
Earlier on August 21, Pori Moni, in open court, begged her lawyers to submit another bail petition after the end of her third remand.
“Why doesn’t anyone plead for my bail? I will lose my sanity… please plead for my bail,” she said.
At the same hearing, Pori Moni’s lawyers urged the court to allow them to speak to the actor, but the Dhaka court denied permission.
On August 26, the High Court issued a ruling, seeking explanation as to why a lower court had set a hearing on Pori Moni’s other bail petition 21 days after she had filed the petition, terming the this delay as “curtailing the rights of the accused”.
Later the Ain o Salish Kendra stood beside Pori Moni and questioned the validity of the remand order against Pori Moni multiple times, and the High Court observed that the court cannot grant remand just because it was asked to do so.
Shamsunnahar Smrity alias Pori Moni was arrested during a raid by the Rapid Action Battalion on August 4, and brought to a magistrate court in Dhaka following the end of a four-day remand.
Earlier in June, in a Facebook post and a subsequent press conference at her residence, Pori Moni has revealed how businessman Nasiruddin Mahmud, a former President of Uttara Club and a person of political influence, had tried to rape her and threatened to murder her at the Boat Club of Dhaka. She said that once she made her escape from the club, she has been unable to file a case against him as the law enforcers refused to register her complaint
The issue had shocked the nation and Mahmud, the present Entertainment Secretary of Dhaka Club, was arrested along with three women and drugs and liquor seized from his house in Uttara area. However, after 18 days, he was released from police custody.
The raid on Pori Moni’s house came on August 4 and the RAB claimed to have recovered drugs, and foreign liquor from there. Pori Moni was shown arrested in a narcotics case a day later and a Dhaka court placed her on a four-day remand.
“I am being framed on false charges and you are laughing!” she told onlookers while leaving the courtroom.
This would also not be the last remand granted for Pori Moni. By the end of the remand period, the case was transferred to the Detective Branch, but hours later, the CID took over.
Pori Moni would be produced in court again on August 10, when law enforcers would be granted a further two-day remand against their request of five days. On August 18, the CID again asked for a fresh five-day remand of Pori Moni, but the court only granted one-day remand.
–By Sumi Khan