The High Court on Tuesday turned down a plea seeking suspension of charges framed by a lower court against photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol in three cases filed under the Digital Security Act (DSA).

A division bench of justices ASM Abdul Mobin and Mohi Uddin Shamim passed the order as barrister Jyotirmoy Barua appeared for Kajol and deputy attorney general Sujit Chatterjee represented the state.

On February 1, barrister Jyotirmoy filed the plea in the High Court seeking a stay on the framing of charges against Kajol in the three DSA cases.

On November 8 last year, the Cyber Tribunal in Dhaka framed charges against Kajol in three cases filed under the stringent law.

Kajol went missing on March 10, 2020, a day after Magura-1 MP Saifuzzaman Shikhor filed a case against him and 31 others, including Manab Zamin Editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury.

They were sued under the act for publishing and sharing an article on various social media platforms about expelled Jubo Mohila League leader Shamima Noor Papia.

Two other cases were filed against Kajol at Kamrangir Char and Hazaribagh police stations, respectively, under the same act on March 10 and 11 last year.

After his 53 days of disappearance, Kajol was detained by Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) near the Benapole border on May 3, 2020, and produced in a Jashore court the same day.

Although the court granted him bail in the case, he was sent to jail as the Kotwali police brought another charge against him under Section 54 of CrPC.

On November 24, 2020, the photojournalist secured bail in another case filed against him under the stringent act.

On December 17 that year, the High Court granted him bail in the remaining two cases filed under the DSA, clearing the way for his release. He was freed from Dhaka Central Jail on December 25 last year.

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