A mobile court judge has passed a verdict on three drug addicts in the northern district of Kurigram after hearing out their offence on mobile phone when on vacation in Dhaka.
The drug addicts were picked up by the police in Roumari Upazila.
Roumari administration chief (UNO) Abdullah Al Mamun Talukdar passed the judgment as executive magistrate in charge of the mobile court on Friday.
Legal experts say there is no provision for passing judgments on phone even for those in charge of mobile courts.
Roumari police's Sub-Inspector Mashiur Rahman said three men were nabbed around 9pm on Thursday night when they were consuming drugs.
He said UNO Talukdar, in charge of the mobile court, was on vacation in Dhaka at that time.
"But he heard out the charges and gave an order, imposing a fine of Tk 2,000 and three months in prison if the fine was not paid. Court clerk Abul Kashem said the mobile court judge would formally issue the order once he returned to office on Sunday," SI Rahman said.
But Kashem did not respond to media queries.
Roumari police OC ABM Sajedul Islam said that UNO Talukdar was not in Roumari when the addicts were arrested. "But he went through the whole process over mobile phone."
After he returned to Roumari, UNO Talukdar told bdnews24.com that OC Islam informed him of the arrest of three drug addicts when he was in Dhaka.
"OC Islam told me they needed to be tried in the mobile court. When I was learnt of their confessions, I imposed a fine of Tk 2,000, failing to pay which would entail three months in prison. I can pass such verdicts over mobile phone," said the local administration chief.
Legal experts, however, described the move illegal.
Kurigram's Public Prosecutor SM Abraham Lincoln told bdnews24.com it's 'totally illegal.'
"The judge of a mobile court has to be on the spot to deliver a verdict. Passing judgment over mobile phone is unprecedented," he said.—AR