SC upholds HC’s order halting trial of 4 more cases against Khaleda

Sun Online Desk

20th September, 2020 12:38:47 printer

SC upholds HC’s order halting trial of 4 more cases against Khaleda

The Supreme Court has upheld the High Court Division order that stayed trial proceedings in four more cases against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

A bench of Appellate Division headed by Justice Mohammad Iman Ali passed the order on Sunday, disposing off four separate leave to appeal petitions filed by the state.

The SC asked the High Court to settle rules which were earlier issued questioning legality of trial of Khaleda in the cases.

Additional Attorney General Momtaz Uddin Fakir stood on behalf of the state while Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon represented Khaleda Zia.

The three arson cases were filed at Darussalam Police Station in 2014-2015 while a sedition case was filed with the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in 2016 for derogatory remarks on freedom fighters.

On December 21, 2015, Khaleda Zia at a discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh questioned the actual number of martyrs. "There're controversies over how many were martyred in the Liberation War. There're many books and documents on the controversies," she said.

The High Court later stayed the trial proceedings of the four cases. It also issued a rule asking the government to explain why the cases should not be scrapped.

This prompted the state counsel to move the Appellate Division.

On August 23 this year, the Appellate Division upheld the High Court Division’s order that had stayed the trial proceedings in four other arson and vandalism cases against the former prime minister filed at Darussalam and Jatrabari police stations in 2015.

Earlier on August 17, the apex court upheld the High Court order halting trial proceedings in four other cases of sabotage against the BNP Chairperson.

The cases were filed in January and March 2015 during a shutdown enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance. The High Court stayed the trial proceedings of the four cases in May 2017.

The court also issued four rules asking the government to explain why the court proceedings of the cases would not be declared ‘scrapped’.

Former prime minister Khaleda was sent to Old Dhaka Central Jail after her conviction in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018.

In March this year, the BNP chief was released from jail for six months upon an executive order considering her age and on humanitarian ground following an application by her family.

On September 15, the government extended her conditional release by another six months.