Bangladesh fast bowler Shahadat Hossain and his wife Nritto Shahadat were exonerated in the maid torture case by a local court on Sunday.
30-year old Shahadat and his wife were charged with assault by a Dhaka tribunal last year after the housemaid of the cricketer, an 11-year old girl, lodged a formal complaint regarding the torture and assault, after she was found roadside with facial injuries.
But on Sunday, Judge Tanjina Ismail of the chief tribunal for Prevention of Women and Children Repression of Dhaka, cleared the couple of the assault and torture charges as the prosecution failed in proving the charges against them.
The victim had made accusations against Shahadat and his wife on September 6 last year, post which a case was filed against them at the Mirpur Police Station. Charges against them were read by the court on the 27th of October last year, to which Shahadat and his wife pleaded not guilty and demanded justice. But charges were pressed against the couple on December 27, 2015 by the Police.
Shahadat had been handed a suspension in September 2015 by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) after a case was registered against him. A case was also filed on Hossain’s wife under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act. The cricketer and his wife spent two months in police custody after arrests were made in October last year.
In the month of December, both were released on bail, but Hossain was banned by the BCB during the investigation into the criminal offence, which drew huge media attention in the entire country.
However, the ban was lifted by the Bangladesh board in the month of May 2016, citing "humanitarian considerations", allowing Shahadat to play domestic matches, weeks following the issue of an emotional public apology by the seamer, in which he also appealed for his return to cricket.
With the prosecution failing to prove the couple's offence, the court ordered for their exoneration. "The couple has been released as the prosecution failed to prove them guilty," the prosecutor from the women and children repression prevention tribunal, Ali Asgar said.
The clearance from all charges provides Shahadat with a glimmer of hope to make a return to the international cricket after he was told by the BCB that he wouldn’t be selected to represent Bangladesh until he was acquitted.
Speaking to reporters after the ruling, the 30-year old seamer expressed his wishes to make a comeback for the Bangladesh National Team. "The truth has won," Hossain told the reporters. "I still have something to give to my country."
Shahadat, who has not been picked by any Bangladesh Premier League side for the current season, has played 38 Tests and 51 One-Day Internationals, in which he has bagged 72 wickets and 47 wickets respectively.