In a rare incident that followed the acquittal of late editor Sushil Chowdhury, two individuals, Najmina Begum and Faizul Jalal, were acquitted of the charge of planned and deliberate murder by a division bench of the High Court. The bench, comprised of Chief Justice T. Amarnath Gour and Justice Arindam Lodh, deemed the evidence presented by the prosecution to be insufficient, leading to the release of both defendants.
The case dates back to July 17, 2016, when Najmina Begum’s husband, Md Aziruddin, was found dead from burn injuries and strangling in their home at Kadamtala, under the Dharma Nagar subdivision. Azir Uddin’s father filed a complaint with the police, accusing Najmina Begum and her paramour Fazlul Jalal of a planned murder. Subsequently, both defendants were arrested based on the complaint.
After a lengthy trial and testimony provided by 13 witnesses, the District and Sessions Judge of Dharma Nagar sentenced Najmina Begum and Fazlul Jalal to death on March 23, 2021. As per the legal process, the sentencing was subject to mandatory review by the High Court, and the defendants also filed an appeal.
During the review, the prosecution and defense presented their arguments, leading to the discovery of serious errors made by the police and inquiry authorities in presenting and procuring evidence that could conclusively establish the murder. Recognizing these significant loopholes in the prosecution’s case, the division bench of the High Court, upon careful consideration of the strong arguments presented by advocate Subrata Sarkar and his assistants Barsha Podder and Sima Banik, acquitted both Najmina Begum and Fazlul Jalal of the murder charge and subsequent death sentence.
The acquittal raises questions about the reliability of the initial investigation and the overall administration of justice in the case. The court’s decision emphasizes the importance of ensuring a fair and robust legal process, where the burden of proof lies with the prosecution and the accused are given the opportunity to present a strong defense. It highlights the need for thorough and meticulous investigations that adhere to legal standards to avoid the possibility of wrongful convictions.
This case also sheds light on the complexities of criminal proceedings, where lives hang in the balance and justice must be pursued with utmost diligence. It calls for continuous improvement in the criminal justice system, including better training for law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and judicial personnel to uphold the principles of fairness, accuracy, and justice.
The acquittal of Najmina Begum and Fazlul Jalal serves as a reminder that the presumption of innocence is a fundamental right that must be upheld, and any doubts regarding guilt should be resolved in favor of the accused. It emphasizes the importance of safeguarding the rights of individuals and ensuring that justice is served based on reliable and irrefutable evidence.
While the court’s decision brings relief to Najmina Begum, Fazlul Jalal, and their families, it also highlights the profound impact that such cases have on all parties involved. The tragic loss of a life cannot be forgotten, and it is essential that authorities continue their efforts to identify the true perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The case of Najmina Begum and Fazlul Jalal underscores the need for continuous evaluation and improvement in the legal system. It serves as a reminder that justice requires meticulous examination of evidence, fair presentation of arguments, and the ability to rectify mistakes made during the investigation or trial. Only by striving for excellence in our legal processes can we ensure the proper administration of justice and protect the