BANGLADESH: No conflict between the press and court

Defense says that two national dailies did not conflict with the court by running articles about judge

The Daily Star
Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Dhaka -- Newspapers always uphold dignity and honour of the court, there is no conflict between the press and court, Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said during the hearing of the contempt petition in the High Court (HC) against two national dailies for running reports on a judge's alleged result tampering.

Dr Kamal, who defended the Prothom Alo, said before the HC division bench comprising Justice

MA Matin and Justice AFM Abdur Rahman that media always look upon the court as the last resort for people.

"If they (journalists) do not investigate and write reports, criminals will be spared. Newspaper is the only media where the criminals are portrayed."

Newsmen are doing their professional duties amidst risk as they are being attacked, even killed, he said, adding, "The court is protector of free press."

"If the court awards punishment to journalists, where will they get shelter?" he questioned.

Advocate Mahbube Alam, counsel for the Bhorer Kagoj publisher Saber Hossain Chowdhury, said in his submission that the report would be a scandalising one if it were false.

If punishment is given for a report without examining the truth, it will be difficult for journalists to publish the truth.

The Prothom Alo and the Bhorer Kagoj in their October 30 reports said Additional Judge Faisal Mahmud Faizee's LLB certificate was allegedly counterfeit.

The judge's father Mohammad Faiz filed a contempt petition on November 8 against publisher of the Prothom Alo Mahfuz Anam, its Editor Matiur Rahman, reporters Ekramul Haque Bulbul and Masud Milad and publisher of the Bhorer Kagoj Saber Hossain Chowdhury, its Editor Abed Khan and reporter Shamaresh Baidya.

Petitioner's counsel Barrister Azmalul Hossain also started his submission yesterday afternoon.

The hearing will continue today.