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SC extends stay time on bail of MP Shawkat

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Staff Reporter :
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) on Sunday extended three more weeks time to Jatiya Party MP Shawkat Chowdhury to challenge the High Court order of depositing Tk 25 crore in Bangladesh Commerce Bank Limited within 50 days as condition of bail in loan scam cases.
Besides, the court had also directed the MP of Nilfamari-4 constituency to file a leave to appeal petition in the mean time.
A five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by the Acting Chief Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Mia passed the order after hearing a time petition.
Advocate Nurul Islam Sujan, Shawkat Chowdhury's lawyer, said, "We have not found the copy of the order of the High Court. So we filed a petition seeking time. The court granted the petition and fixed December 3 for further hearing."
On October 22 in 2017, the High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim directed Jatiya Party MP Shawkat Chowdhury to pay Tk 25 crore to Bangladesh Commerce Bank Limited within 50 days in connection with two loan scam cases involving Tk 94 crore.
If the MP does not pay the amount in 50 days after receiving the order, his bail in the relevant loan scam cases will automatically be cancelled, the HC said in a verdict.
The HC bench passed the judgement after hearing a Suo Moto rule issued earlier over legality of the lower court orders on bail in the cases, Barrister M Sarwar Hossain, the lawyer for Bangladesh Commerce Bank Ltd, told the journalists.
Later on October 29, the Appellate Division of the SC stayed the HC order for two weeks considering a petition filed by Shawkat Chowdhury.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the two cases with Bangshal Police Station in Dhaka on May 8 and 10 last year, accusing Shawkat Chowdhury, a Jatiya Party lawmaker from Nilphamari-4, the then Managing Director of Bangladesh Commerce Bank Md Asaduzzaman and the then Manager of Bangshal Branch Habibul Gani and six others.
The case statements say, Shawkat, also Managing Director of M/S Jamuna Agro Chemical Ltd, allegedly misappropriated Tk 94 crore from the branch in collusion with the other accused through 31 letters of credit between December 2012 and March 2015.
Shawkat obtained bail from the lower court on September 8 and October 4 last year.
During hearing on the bail petitions filed by two other detained accused in the cases, the HC on November 24 last year issued the Suo Moto rule asking lawmaker Shawkat to explain as to why the lower court orders granting bail to him in two loan scam cases involving Tk 94 crore should not be cancelled.

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