The Supreme Court will pass its order on Monday on two petitions filed seeking extension of stay on bail which was granted to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia by the High Court in a graft case in which she is a convict.
A bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain decided to pass the order, after hearing both sides on Sunday.
The two petitions were filed by the state and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday, seeking extension of stay on the bail order.
The SC also heard two other petitions filed by the state and the ACC praying for leave-to-appeal against the High Court order that granted bail to the BNP chief.
During Sunday’s hearing, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam prayed to SC for extension of its stay on Khaleda Zia’s bail.
Mahbubey Alam argued that Khaleda Zia should not be allowed to be released on bail as many top leaders across the world fled their countries to avoid arrest and jail.
The lower court already commuted Khaleda Zia’s jail term from 10 years to five years considering her age and social status, he said, adding that in such a situation the HC should not have granted her bail.
If Khaleda is released on bail, the defence lawyers will try to delay hearing on the appeal filed by Khaleda Zia against the lower court verdict.
Khurshid Alam opposed the defence plea that Khaleda Zia should enjoy bail as her jail term is five years which is low. The ACC lawyer said there is no definition of low conviction.
Even, two years’ jail term cannot be considered as low conviction, he added.
Supreme Court Bar Association president Zainul Abedin, also the defence counsel, said the SC usually does not stay bail granted to anybody by the HC.
On Wednesday, the SC stayed till Sunday the bail order of the HC.
On February 8, a special judge’s court sentenced Khaleda Zia to five years’ imprisonment for misappropriating fund of Zia Orphanage Trust.
Tarique Rahman and four others were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in the same case. Four others are Khaleda Zia’s principal secretary Kamal Uddin Siddiqui, Ziaur Rahman’s nephew Mominur Rahman and businessmen Salimul Haque Kamal and Sharfuddin Ahmed. Tarique, Kamal and Mominur are fugitives.
On March 12, the HC granted four months’ ad-interim bail to Khaleda Zia in the case.
Meanwhile, Khaleda Zia was shown arrested in a case filed over an arson attack on a bus that left eight passengers dead in Comilla in 2015.
Senior Judicial Magistrate Mustain Billah asked the jail authorities to produce Khaleda Zia before the court on March 28.