Khaleda’s Bail Appeal: SC hearing starts today

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:The Supreme Court is set to hold hearing today to determine whether BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who is now in jail, will be able to enjoy the bail granted by the High Court in a corruption case.

The HC on March 12 granted her four months’ bail in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case in which she was sentenced to five years and landed in jail on February 8.

A week later, the SC stayed the HC bail order following two leave-to-appeal petitions filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission and the government. The apex court also fixed today for hearing the petitions.

An Appellate Division bench led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain holds the hearing of the appeals today.

Counsels for the ACC and the government, and Khaleda have taken all preparations for placing arguments before the apex court in support of their respective prayers.

ACC lawyer said they would place arguments elaborately on the points on which the apex court had granted the leave-to-appeal petitions against the HC order and stayed the bail of Khaleda, a former prime minister.

Khaleda’s lawyer, on the other hand, said they would argue explaining the level of illness she had long been suffering from and other grounds in details.

Talking to The Daily Star, Khurshid Alam Khan, lawyer of the ACC, said the HC did not consider the gravity of the offence committed by Khaleda when she was granted bail in the case.

The defence lawyers did not submit any medical certificate although they claimed she was suffering from various diseases, he said.

The HC granted the BNP chief bail consideration her old age, social status and the short sentence which is not any legal ground for granting her bail, said the ACC lawyer.

He said Khaleda misused the privilege of bail during the trial and moreover, she without seeking any permission from the trial court visited various countries in the name of treatment. But the HC without considering this illegally granted her bail.

“We are ready to give answer to any question which will be arising during the hearing at the Appellate Division,” the ACC counsel added.

Contacted, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said his office took adequate preparations for placing arguments in support of the government appeal against the HC order of Khaleda’s bail.

He, however, refused to disclose the contents of the arguments.

Khaleda’s lawyer Kayser Kamal told this correspondent that the BNP chief had submitted two concise statements on the appeals as per the SC directives.

In the statements, she has prayed to the apex court to uphold the HC order that granted her bail considering her old age, medical grounds, social status and short sentence, he said.

“We will place the documents in support of her suffering from different diseases if such questions will arise during the hearing,” said Kayser, adding that the defence lawyers would place arguments in details on the grounds on which the HC had granted bail to Khaleda.

The ACC and the government submitted separate brief statements on April 8 and 12 respectively mentioning the points on which their counsels would place arguments on their appeals before the apex court.

After the SC stayed the HC bail order following the two leave-to-appeal petitions, the apex court the same day asked the ACC and the government to submit concise statements on the appeals against the HC order in two weeks after receiving its order.

The SC also asked Khaleda to submit concise statements on the appeals to this court within two weeks after the ACC and the government would place their statements.

The HC on March 12 granted Khaleda four months’ bail on four grounds: a short sentence of five years, health condition, facing trial, and the case records reaching the court.

The BNP chief landed in jail on February 8 after a special court of Dhaka sentenced her to five years in prison for misappropriating the donation to the Zia Orphanage Trust.

Timeline

Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case

Feb 8

Khaleda landed in jail

Feb 19

Certified copy of the verdict issued

Feb 20 

Appeal filed

Feb 22 

Bail petition filed

Mar 12 

HC grants 4 months’ bail

Mar 15 

ACC &Govt filed petitions against bail

Mar 19 

SC stayed the bail and fixed May 8 hearing appeals against HC bail

Mar 19

Petitions turned into appeals after the leave was granted

Apr 2

Full text of SC stay order released

Apr 8

ACC submitted concise statement on its appeal

Apr 12

Government submitted concise statement on its appeal

Apr 13

Supreme Court goes into vacation

Apr 23

Khaleda files concise statements

May 6

Supreme Court reopens

Production Warrants issued

Gatco graft case

Boropukuria graft case

Zia Charitable Trust graft case

Comilla Arson Attack

Shown Arrest

Comilla arson attack case

Arrest warrants

Two more arson attack cases in Comilla

Defamation case on Bangabandhu

Fake birthday celebration

Khaleda is facing  a total of 34 cases

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