Govt turns down plea for Khaleda’s treatmant abroad10 May 2021
Staff Reporter :
The government says "No" to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to go abroad for treatment abroad in response to a petition filed by his family for her better treatment.
"There is no provision that a convict shall go abroad for treatment," Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said in a news briefing on Sunday.
"It is not possible [for us] to do anything beyond the law," he said.
"The Law Ministry has informed us that Khaleda Zia cannot go abroad unless her sentences are commuted. In light of such an opinion, the petition of Khaleda Zia's family could not be granted," the Home Minister told.
"I have said in the opinion that Khaleda Zia's jail sentence has been suspended as per Section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), on condition that she would not go abroad. Now, there is no scope to relax this condition. Therefore, she cannot go abroad for treatment," Law Minister Anisul Huq said on Sunday.
The law minister sent the opinion to the
Home Ministry through an official on Sunday afternoon.
The government released Khaleda Zia on March 25 last year after suspending her jail sentence as per Section 401 (1) of the Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC).
Section 401(1) of the CrPC says, "When any person has been sentenced to punishment for an offence, the Government may at any time without conditions or upon any condition which the person sentenced accepts, suspend the execution of his/her sentence or remit the whole or any part of the punishment to which he/she has been sentenced".
When asked whether Khaleda could be allowed on humanitarian grounds, Asaduzzaman Khan said, "Her sentence was commuted on humanitarian grounds, so she can take proper treatment at home."
"We are not allowed to go against the law" he concluded.
Earlier in the day, the Law Ministry sent its recommendation to the Home Ministry in response to a petition submitted by Khaleda Zia's family.
Khaleda Zia's younger brother Shamim Iskander submitted the petition to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal's house in Dhanmondi on 5 May. Later, it was sent to the Ministry of Law for their opinion.
BNP chairperson's lawyer Khandaker Mahbub Hossain said the observation of Law Ministry about Khaleda Zia's treatment abroad is illegal.
Now, the government will have to take the liability if any untoward incident occurs to former prime minister Khaleda Zia, he added.
Mahbub said the government could have allowed Khaleda Zia on condition that she would have to come back after receiving treatment abroad.
Khaleda Zia is a three-time prime minister and her health condition is complex, the lawyer said adding the government could have handled the issue on humanitarian ground.
Asked about the decision of the government, Mahbub Hossain said, this is totally illegal. There is no such provision in the law that a convicted person can't go abroad."
"The government itself should take initiative about her treatment. They should not have taken such a big liability on their shoulder by refusing her to go abroad for treatment. Total responsibility would fall on the government if any untoward incident happens," Mahbub added.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday urged ministers to maintain decency and political etiquette while making comments on former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.
"Khaleda Zia is a three-time ex-Prime Minister who had restored democracy in the country through a long struggle for nine years. She's now seriously ill. People, politicians and foreign missions are concerned," he said.
Speaking at a virtual discussion, the BNP leader regretted that some ministers are unfortunately making very "objectionable and satirical" remarks about her which are discourteous.
Khaleda Zia tested positive for Covid-19 test on 11 April, as eight people of her residence were found infected with the virus. She underwent the second Covid-19 test on April 24 and the report was positive again.
The BNP Chairperson was admitted to Evercare Hospital in the capital on 27 April for a brief period and continued to remain there as per the doctors' recommendation. Later, she was shifted from the hospital cabin to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) due to shortness of breath.
Finally, the BNP Chief Khaleda Zia finally tested negative for Covid-19, after 27 days she had been infected with the deadly virus.
Having served 25 months of the 17-year prison sentence in two corruption cases, she was released on 25 March last year. The suspension of her jail sentence was extended twice.
Khaleda's sentence was suspended last year under Section 401 of the Penal Code. She was released on two conditions - she would not be able to travel abroad and she must receive treatment at home.
On February 8, 2016, Khaleda Zia was sentenced to five years in prison in a Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. She was later sentenced in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case. There are 34 more cases against her.