False Allegation Under Section 57 of ICT Act : Mohon Kumar Mondol

False Allegation Cyber Case

Mohon Kumar (Cyber Tribunal, Dhaka)
Cyber Case No. 118/2015:

On 26 September 2015, informant, GM Akbar Kabir, filed a case in Shamnagar Police Station of Shamnagar, Satkhira against Mohon Kumar Mondol, Executive Director of NGO, “Leaders” under case no. 36(09)2015. According to the informant’s short description – accused Mohon Kumar posted a status under his facebook ID. In the status, it was mentioned, “Why does one have to spend lacs and lacs of Taka and go to Mina just to throw stones at the Shaytan? Go and stone the Shaytan living beside your house and mine.

This statement was said to hurt the religious sentiment of the informant. The informant filed a case against him in the Shampur Police Station so that legal steps are taken against him. On that day itself, the police arrested the accused Mohon Kumar Mondol and sent him to jail custody. On 03 October 2015, the investigating officer of the case presented a charge-sheet under the Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act. This case was submitted before the Cyber Tribunal, Dhaka, for the. The accused has sought legal assistance from the lawyers of the Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), and thereafter presented a Vokalotnama supporting Mohon to the Court. Mohon defended himself, denying the informant’s allegation and the aforementioned status, and mentioned that he was a victim of the conspiracy of the informant. Mohon also claimed that his facebook account was hacked by the informant. Based on this, a plea of bail was sought in favour of the Mohon on 28 October 2015. The Court fixed the hearing date on 29 November 2015. On the day of the hearing, the Court accepted the bail of accused Mohon. The case was pending before the court for various days. The witness-examination has been completed. The argument continued for several days. And finally, on 07 January 2019, the arguments of the cases were completely submitted. Finally, on 20 January 2019, the date fixed for judgment, the Court declared Mohon Kumar Mondol innocent.

In this case, ASK supported Mohon because a false allegation was brought against him and also because he belongs to a religious minority community. Section 57(2) of the Information and Telecommunication (ICT) Act was used to harass Mohon. This controversial section has been widely misused to harass persons from religious minority groups since the amended of the Act in 2013. Since then, ASK as a human rights organisation, has been raising its concerns regarding this section. It is due to such misuse of this provision which results in the ASK supporting victims like Mohon.