Sunday, March 18, 2018 11:53:03 PM
Staff Reporter :
The Supreme Court (SC) on Sunday concluded the hearing on the leave to appeal petitions filed against a High Court (HC) order that granted bail for four months to BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust case.
The court also fixed today (Monday) to pass order on the appeal petitions.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order after concluding hearing on two separate appeal petitions filed by the government and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The government and the Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday filed the two appeal petitions seeking stay on the HC order.
The Supreme Court premise was under siege by huge deployment of police yesterday. Huge number of police heavily armed with helmets and riot gears were inside the main court building approaching the Appellate Division and at its front door were as a show of police power.
Surprised by such armed police presence in the court buildings and outside, some disappointed lawyers were heard complaining the inconveniences caused to them to enter the court premises. Entry points were restricted. The lawyers had to prove their own identity and cars were checked for maintaining security. The occasion was hearing of the bail matter of Begum Khaleda Zia by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.
They could not see any justification for such unusual and frightful police presence to hold peace among lawyers when decision was expected in the bail matter of Begum Khaleda Zia. The lawyers could not have created any such violent situation calling for the fearful sight of armed police presence in the court premises of law and justice. One was not sure if such unbecoming massive police presence was arranged with the knowledge of the Chief Justice.
The court started its functions at 9.40 am yesterday. At first ACC lawyer Khurshed Alam Khan submitted his statement. He told the court, "Khaleda Zia's lawyers did not submit any medical documents in support of their claim that she is sick."
The lawyer complained to the court that Khaleda Zia had abused the bail before. Then he read the order of the trial court and said, "Khaleda Zia went abroad without the permission of the court. What else can be the abuse of bail?"
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam also submitted his statement contradicting the bail. He said, "Khaleda Zia cannot get mercy again and again considering her age and sickness. The trial court gave her shorter sentence considering her age and social status. How many time she will get mercy considering same thing? The trial court showed mercy to her."
"State money will be embezzled, and the main person of the state will be involved with it, she cannot get mercy anymore," the Attorney General also said.
"High Court ordered to prepare paper-book of this case within four months. You (Appellate Division) can reduce this time to two months. Paper-books of BDR carnage case were also prepared within a short time," he added.
The Attorney General also said contradicting the bail, "The situation was different when the trial proceedings were continuing. Now she is a convicted person. The trial court sentenced her shorter considering her age and physical condition. Her sentence will end, and her appeal hearing will not end, that cannot happened. This is absurd. Of course, there will be a hearing."
At this stage, The Attorney General read some portions of the trial court's judgement. Then he told the court, "Khaleda Zia sprayed time before on various pretext. She also abused bail. She did not care the court and did misconduct."
Then Khaleda Zia's lawyers A J Mohammad Ali and Khandker Mahbub Hossain submitted their statements.
Advocate A J Mohammad Ali said, "Khaleda Zia has been involved in this case by making fake documents. She is not involved in any way. She has no signature anywhere. The case has been filed entirely by creating fake documents."
Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain said, "The government and the ACC are opposing the bail order so much because the accused person in this case is Khaleda Zia. They would not oppose so much if the accused person was not Khaleda Zia."
Advocate Zainul Abedin, another lawyer for Khaleda Zia, told after the hearing, "We hope, Appellate Division will keep the High Court order continue."
On March 14, the same Supreme Court bench stayed the High Court order that granted bail to BNP Chairperson till next Sunday after hearing two petitions filed by the government and the ACC.
The SC also directed both the parties to file leave to appeal petitions by this time. Following this order the government and the Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday filed the two appeal petitions. On Sunday, the SC held hearing on the petitions.
On March 12, the High Court bench comprising Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim granted bail to BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia for four months in the case.
On February 8, Khaleeda Zia was jailed for five years on February 8 in connections with Zia Orphanage case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2008.
Judge of the Special Court-5 of Dhaka also sentenced Khaleda Zia's eldest son and BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman, and four others to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment and slapped a fine of Tk 2.10 crore each.
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