The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has temporarily suspended a judge who stirred controversy for saying that rape cases should not be registered if 72 hours have passed following the crime.
Mosammat Kamrunnahar was the presiding judge in a 2017 that took place at the Raintree Hotel in Dhaka’s Banani.
In the case, five people were accused of allegedly raping two students of a private university at gunpoint at a “birthday party” on March 28, 2017.
During a hearing on November 11, Judge Kamrunnahar acquitted the five accused, including Shafat Ahmed, the son of an Apan Jewellers co-owner.
In her observations, she wrote: “The investigating officer submitted a biased chargesheet in the case. The medical reports on the victims did not find any signs of sexual violation. The DNA found on the victims’ clothes did not match the suspects. The victims came to the police 38 days after the incident, saying they had been raped. The investigating officer should have given the matter proper consideration.”
Instead, the officer “wasted the public’s time”, the judge said, instructing that no rape cases should be filed if 72 hours have passed since the incident.
She also said it was proved that the university students had consensual sex before the incident.
In its decision against the Judge on Sunday, the Supreme Court instructed her not to should not sit in court.
According to Mohammad Saifur Rahman, Supreme Court spokesman and special officer, the decision was made by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain after consulting other senior justices.
Rahman added that the apex court sent a letter to the Law Ministry on Sunday morning “to temporarily revoke judicial powers and withdraw her (Kamrunnahar) from her current workplace and assign her to the Ministry of Law’s Law and Justice Department”.
Also reacting to the remarks, Law Minister Anisul Huq said that “her observation asking the police not to record a case 72 hours after rape is totally illegal and unconstitutional”.