The Supreme Court yesterday asked the High Court to hear and settle the rule in six weeks regarding the confinement of two Marma sisters, one of whom was allegedly raped and another assaulted by security forces last month.
The Marma sisters, aged 18 and 13, were admitted to the Rangamati Sadar Hospital on January 22 after the incidents took place at Bilaichari village.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed yesterday's order during hearing a petition filed by rights activist Sultana Kamal, seeking stay on a High Court order.
Following a writ petition by the victims' father U She Ching Marma, the HC bench led by Justice Naima Haider and Zafar Ahmed on February 13 ordered the authorities concerned of the government and Rangamati Sadar Hospital to hand the girls over to their father.
The bench also issued a rule asking the authorities to explain why the confinement of the girls should not be declared illegal and why the Marma sisters would not be handed over to their parents.
On February 15, the two Marma sisters were handed over to their parents in police presence.
The same day Sultana Kamal filed a petition with the SC seeking a stay on the HC order.
In the petition, she claimed that the girls wanted to go under the custody of Chakma Circle Chief Raja Debashish Roy, who would ensure their security.
The elder sister has recently sent a letter to the civil surgeon of Rangamati to this end and a writ petition over this issue has been pending with the High Court, Sultana said in the petition.
Yesterday, Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud, the lawyer for the writ petitioner, U She Ching Marma, told the apex court that the two sisters are now under the custody of their parents.
Barrister BM Elias Kachi, another lawyer for U She Ching Marma, told The Daily Star that the sisters would remain in the custody of their parents following the SC order until disposal of the HC rule.
Barrister M Amir-Ul Islam appeared for Sultana Kamal.