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HC defers bail hearing of 4 NSU trustees till Sunday

20 May 2022

Staff Reporter :
The High Court on Thursday deferred till Sunday next the hearing on the anticipatory bail petition filed by four trustees of the North South University in a case lodged on charge of misappropriation of Tk 3.03 billion during purchasing land for the institution.
The court adjourned the hearing till 2.00 pm of Sunday next as the petitioners sought time to prepare a written summary of their submission.  
The High Court bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo passed the order on a commitment of the bail petitioners that they will appear before the court on the same day.
The court said, “The hearing has been adjourned till 2.00 pm of Sunday. The bail petitioners have been asked to appear in the court before the hearing.”
Barrister Mizan Sayeed appeared in the court hearing on behalf of the trustees, while Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state and Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan appeared for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The Anti-Corruption   Commission filed the case on May 5 in 2022 with the ACC’s integrated office in Dhaka against six persons including these four trustees on charge of misappropriation of Tk 3.03 billion during purchasing land for the institution.
According to the case statement, bypassing the North South University Syndicate, University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Ministry of Education, some members of the Board of Trustees of the university purchased 9096.88 decimal of land in the name of campus development paying extra charge of Tk 3.03 billion which was later embezzled.
Among the accused university’s four trustees, MA Kashem, Benajir Ahmed, Rehana Rahman and Moahammad Shajahan, filed the anticipatory bail petition with the High Court.
The lawyers of the accused petitioners said in the hearing that the ACC has filed the case against the bail seekers on the basis of conjecture. There are no specific allegations of embezzlement against any of them. Apart from that, a civil case has been finalized in the High Court on this issue. The matter has been settled by that verdict.
ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said, “Attempts to launder money is also a crime under the Money Laundering Prevention Act. So it is logical to sue on the basis of assumption. The case was filed after the ACC's own investigation. Now the investigation may find evidence of more embezzlement. Apart from that, the accused who sought bail have committed financial crimes in an organized manner. They have committed this crime by creating a cycle. In this case, there is no opportunity to see the crime of each accused in isolation or in person.”
The lawyer also pleaded not to grant bail considering the social status of the accused, adding that former Prime Minister, former Army Chief and Chief Justice have been tried in this country on corruption charges. Are these accused who are seeking bail on social status ground above the law?

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