The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Sunday upheld a High Court verdict that had had rejected a petition filed by BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia seeking a directive on the trial court to annul the testimony of the plaintiff in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against her.
A five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice SK Sinha came up with the order after dismissing a petition filed by Khaleda challenging an HC verdict.
Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan, counsel for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), told reporters that there was no legal bar to continue the trial proceedings of the case against the BNP chief at the lower court following the apex court order.
Earlier on June 29, 2015, the High Court bench comprising Justice Md Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Justice JBM Hassan summarily rejected the petition filed by Khaleda seeking its directive upon the lower court to expunge deposition of IO Harun-or-Rashid in the case, saying there was no illegality in recording statement of the investigation officer in the case filed by the ACC.
Khaleda Zia had sought cancellation of the plaintiff’s deposition recorded by the Dhaka Special Judge’s Court-3 judge Md Abu Ahmed Jamadar when she was absent in the court due to ‘security reasons’.
In her petition, Khaleda said the trial court on September 29, 2014 had recorded deposition of the plaintiff in violation of legal provision that deposition of a witness must be recorded in presence of the accused. The law also said the recorded deposition needed to be read out before the accused in the court.
The ACC had filed two graft cases including the Zia Orphanage Trust case in 2008 and 2011. According to the charge sheet in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, Khaleda, her son Tarique Rahman and four others embezzled Tk 2.1 crore by forming the charity that exists only in paper. – Staff Reporter