A Dhaka court has deferred for the third time a hearing on framing charges against human rights activists Adilur Rahman Khan and Nasiruddin Elan.

While Khan is secretary of the rights group Odhikar, Elan is its director.

They are booked in a case pertaining to allegedly spreading distorted information about police’s May 5 anti-Hifazat drive.

Dhaka’s Cyber Crimes Tribunal Judge KM Shamsul Alam has postponed the hearing to Dec 18 the hearing that was due on Thursday.

The judge deferred the hearing as Elan could not be produced before the court.

Elan’s bail plea would also be taken up the same day.

However, Adilur, who is now on bail, was present in the court.

The court also asked the authorities to return Adil’s materials they had seized while arresting him.

Detective Branch Inspector Ashraful Alam submitted the charges to Dhaka’s Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court on Sept 4.

Later the case was shifted to Cyber Crimes Tribunal.

The two Odhikar functionaries were booked under Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Act.

The tribunal judge took the charges into cognisance on Sept 11.

On Oct 11, Adil secured bail from the High Court.

The tribunal issued an arrest warrant against Elan, following which the latter surrendered to the tribunal on Nov 6. After that, he was sent to prison.

The two have been accused of distorting facts, raking up falsehood as evidence against the drive by the security forces, doctoring photos with the help of Photoshop software and passing off someone alive as dead.

A report by rights group Odhikar claimed 61 people had been killed in the drive by police and security forces at Motijheel’s Shapla Chattar, where Hifazat-e Islam supporters were on an indefinite sit-in on May 5.

Odhikar refused to share information when the government sought to know the identity of the 61 people they claimed had died.

Adilur Rahman, who was a Deputy Attorney General during the erstwhile BNP government, was arrested on Aug 10.

A lower court had granted five days for his interrogation, but the High Court stalled the remand and sent him to prison.

Later, he secured the bail from the High Court.