Law Minister Anisul Huq has said that he does not have the power to reconsider BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s application for allowing her to go abroad for treatment.
He said the law has provisions of giving conditional and unconditional bail. Khaleda Zia’s application has been settled on conditional terms. The government has to work within the law.
“I have repeatedly said it is a settled application, I don’t have the power to reconsider the law,” Anisul said while speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Crime Reporters Association of Bangladesh (CRAB) in Segunbagicha of the capital on Wednesday.
Speaking as the chief guest at the function presided over by CRAB President Mizan Malik and conducted by General Secretary Alauddin Arif, the law minister said the case in which Khaleda Zia was convicted was not filed by Awami League. It was lodged during the caretaker- government tenure.
The Anti-Corruption Commission reported the case in 2012. They have appealed to the High Court and the Appellate Division at least ten times during the trial of the case. Many have expressed distrust towards the judges. Judgment has been given after all.
In one case, the sentence was increased to five years in the Judicial Court, while in the High Court it was increased to 10 years. In another case, Khaleda Zia was later sentenced to seven years, he said.
Anisul said, “While she (Khaleda Zia) was serving her sentence, the Prime Minister suspended her sentence on two special conditions from a humanitarian point of view. If a reapplication is made, it may be discussed. I am also saying here, I have also said in Parliament. If he does not comply with the conditions under which he was released, if she wants to go to jail again, that could happen.”
Speaking as the special guest, RAB Director General Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun said, “If something happened, we would take the news on our own channel and report it. Now journalists know a lot, again many things coming up earlier on social media. That is why journalism has also become challenging. RAB Media Center has been brought to Karwan Bazar for the convenience of journalists.”
Jugantor Editor Saiful Alam said, “We have responsibility for the oppressed people of this country. We will say and write everything, but we are for justice. Reporters have a lot of responsibilities. Today, those who are working in the crime beat have a lot of responsibilities. Our ultimate trust is the confidence of readers. If we fail, we will be ridiculed.”
RAB Additional Director General Colonel Abul Kalam Azad and Dhaka Reporters Unity President Nazrul Islam Mithu, among others, spoke on the occasion.