A Dhaka court yesterday asked lawyers of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to explain by October 7 why her bail would not be cancelled in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Judge Court-5 of Dhaka passed the order after Khaleda's lawyer Masud Ahmed Talukder submitted a petition seeking extension of her bail in the case.
Masud submitted another petition seeking adjournment of the argument hearing, saying their client had challenged the legality of the September 20 order that was passed for running trial proceedings against Khaleda in her absence.
Another lawyer of Khaleda Zia, Sanaullah Mia told the court that Khaleda gave them permission to argue in court, but they did not represent her in her absence.
Public Prosecutor of Anti-Corruption Commission Mosharraf Hossain Kajol opposed the petition, saying there was no scope for extending the bail period, since Khaleda's lawyers did not represent her in her absence. Moreover, Khaleda had herself appeared before the court and said she would never come to the court. Since she is a respected person, she was not forced to be produced before it, he said.
After hearing both sides, the judge asked Khaleda's lawyers to explain by the next scheduled date why her bail would not be cancelled in the case. The lawyers were also asked to explain whether they would submit any petition for extending her bail without representing her.
The judge also dismissed no-confidence petitions filed by two other accused -- Ziaul Huq Munna and Monirul Islam Khan -- in the case, and sent Monirul to jail cancelling his bail.
The judge fixed the same date for passing an order on the prosecution petition seeking fixing of a date for delivery of judgment in the case. The court also asked the lawyers to submit the High Court order on the next scheduled date.
CUMILLA MURDER CASE
A Cumilla court yesterday fixed October 3 for continuing hearing of a bail petition filed by Khaleda Zia, in connection with a murder case.
Judge Jalal Uddin of Cognisance Court-5 set the date, after hearing arguments from defence and prosecution on the petition.
“We prayed for bail of Khaleda Zia in the case, and submitted all sorts of necessary certified documents to the court. But the prosecution is delaying the process repeatedly praying for time,” Advocate Kaimul Haque Rinku, a defence lawyer for the BNP chairperson, told reporters.
Public prosecutor Advocate Mustafizur Rahman Liton said they need more time to review the documents submitted by the defence, as it is a sensational murder case.
The case was filed on charges of killing eight people and injuring 25-26 others by torching a bus in Cumilla's Chouddagram on February 2, 2015 during anti-government agitations. The BNP chairperson has been implicated in the charge sheet of the case.
The High Court on May 28 had granted six months' bail to Khaleda in this case, and issued a rule asking the government to explain why Khaleda should not be granted regular bail in this case.
The chamber judge of the Appellate Division of the SC on May 31 stayed the HC order of bail. Later, the Appellate Division of the SC extended its chamber judge's order.
On July 2, the apex court extended the stay order and asked the HC to hear and dispose of the rule over the bail in four weeks.
On August 6, the HC rejected the bail petition of Khaleda Zia in this case.