In a first for Bangladesh, Magura Chief Judicial Magistrate Mohammad Ziaur Rahman gave a fictitious name – 'Kalpa' – to a college student seeking justice and announced the verdict on Monday without mentioning her real name.
This is the first time in the history of the country's judicial system that a verdict was given using a pseudonym of the plaintiff. Lawyers hailed the verdict as historic.
In this case, convict Jubayer Hossain has been sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined Tk 100,000.
The victim will get the amount of fine, the court said.
Court sources said, ‘Kalpa’ had an affair with Jubayer who took some personal photos of her on his mobile phone.
The victim terminated their relationship when she learned about the matter. Jubayer tried to blackmail her and threatened to circulate the pictures online if she did resume their relationship.
He released the photos online as ‘Kalpa’ did not bow to his pressure. She filed a case with police on April 20, 2017.
Wazeda Begum, the lawyer of the plaintiff, said: “As there’s no precedent for such a verdict in Bangladesh, the judge cited the Indian Supreme Court’s handling of the ‘Nirvaya’ rape case and the British Supreme Court using pseudonyms for terror accused.”
Shafiquzzaman Bachchu, a lawyer for the accused, said Bangladesh is lagging behind compared to developed countries in women empowerment and freedom.
“Britain has banned revealing victim's identity. Even in neighbouring India, it’s forbidden to reveal the identity of the victim of sexual crimes including rape,” he said.
He noted that according to Section 14 of the Prevention of Violence against Women and Children Act-2000, disclosure of the identity of the victim is prohibited.
“Some are abiding by the rule while others are flouting it. Such a verdict without disclosing the victim’s identity in this situation is certainly a positive development,” he said.