HC accepts Khaleda appeal against conviction: Bail hearing Sunday

HC accepts Khaleda appeal against conviction: Bail hearing Sunday

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Dhaka, Feb 22 – The High Court on Thursday accepted an appeal filed by the BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia challenging the trial court verdict sentencing her to five years’ imprisonment in connection with Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.After staying a fine order against the BNP chief by the Dhaka Special Court-5 in the case, the HC bench also set on Sunday at 2.00 pm for hearing on the bail petition filed by the BNP chief seeking bail in the case.
It also asked the special trial court to submit all the documents of the case relating to the verdict before it within 15 days.
In a jam-packed courtroom, the HC bench comprising Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim came up with the orders after hearing two petitions.
On Tuesday, lawyers of the BNP chairperson filed an appeal with the High Court challenging her sentence in the graft case and the court on the same day fixed Thursday (yesterday) for hearing it.
The other petition was filed by the lawyers of BNP chief yesterday morning with the HC seeking bail in the case.
While the lawyers of BNP chief appeared before the HC yesterday morning and submitted the 880-page bail petition showing 31 grounds for granting her bail, the HC bench said that it would heard the BNP chief matter at 12.00pm.
Since the morning, the courtroom of the HC bench was packed with lawyers and journalist and huge numbers of lawyers and reporters waited inside the courtroom for observing the court proceedings.
The judges of the HC bench entered into the courtroom at 12.02pm and started the court proceedings.
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Advocate Zainul Abedin, one of the counsels for Khaleda, told the court that a number of senior lawyers were present inside the courtroom. But, Advocate AJ Mohammad Ali will take part in the appeal hearing, he added.
Taking part in the hearing, Advocate AJ Mohammad Ali told the court that the appeal was filed under section 10 (1) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act.
“I prayed to accept the appeal for hearing. Bail application will file after accepting appeal for hearing as the lower court convicted my client under section 409 of the penal code,” Ali said.
Then, the court wanted to know from Ali whether there is any extra prayer in the appeal with the prayer of admitting appeal.
Ali informed the court that they have made normal prayers along with appeal admission prayer.
After examining appeal documents, the court said that as per the Criminal Procedure of Code (CrPC) the court could stay the sentence and fine. But, the conviction cannot be stayed in accordance with the Criminal Law Amendment Act. You (appellant) have sought the HC order to stay the conviction, the court said.
“It has been included in the petition in line with the tradition. We will correct it later on,” Ali replied the court.
After that the HC passed a short order saying: “We heard the appeal. Fine has been stayed till disposal of the appeal. Special court is directed to send the record in 15 days.”
AJ Mohammad Ali stood again with bail petition and told the court that Khaleda Zia has being languishing in jail for last 15 days.
“We are seeking her bail as the court gave her short sentence. She is eligible to get bail on consideration of her age and social status,” Ali said.
Opposing his submission, attorney general Mahbubey Alam told the court that the court has already accepted appeal. We are received the bail petition of Khaleda Zia just today morning. The bail petition should hear serially after including it into the daily cause list, the chief law officer of the state said.
Then, the court informed the attorney general about the conviction of the BNP chief saying that there is a provision to grant bail for the accused person, if they have convicted for short time.
Besides, this case has merit and we want to hold the hearing on the bail petition after including the matter in the daily cause list.
Later, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told the court that he did not take part in the appeal admission hearing.
The court told him that there is no need to take part in the appeal admission hearing. We are calling you at the right time to take part in the hearing, the court said. – Staff Reporter

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