The High Court has sought relevant documents from the government to determine BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's "genuine" date of birth.
In response to a writ petition, the court asked the authorities concerned of the government to provide the record regarding her date of birth in 60 days.
The HC also issued a rule asking the respondents to show causes why their inaction to prosecute Khaleda Zia under relevant law for celebrating her birthday on different dates deliberately to malign and undermine the solemnity of National Mourning Day on August 15 should not be declared illegal.
Secretaries to the ministries of home affairs and health and family planning, inspector general of police, commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, and officer-in-charge of Gulshan Police Station have made respondents to the rule.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Sardar Md Rashed Jahangir came up with the order and rule after holding hearing on a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Mamun Or Rashid, challenging the legality of celebrating birthday by Khaleda Zia on August 15.
The petitioner said that it is a matter of great distress for the nation that Khaleda Zia has mentioned and used her date of birth on August 15, 1946 in the current passport with an ulterior motive -- to malign the National Mourning Day when the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally killed with his family members in 1975.
Also, Khaleda Zia's date of birth is September 5, 1946 according to her SSC certificate; August 4, 1944 according to her marriage registration certificate; August 5, 1946 according to her machine-readable passport; and May 8, 1946 according to her Covid-19 test report, the petitioner said in the petition.
BNP's Joint Secretary General and former Supreme Court Bar Association Secretary AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon opposed the petition, saying that the writ petitioner has been filed in order to achieve political gains.
Thousands of people including Khaleda Zia were born on August 15, he said, adding it is not the work of the HC to deal with such a matter involving a birthday.