SC reverses HC stay on Sabrina's graft case verdict

SC reverses HC stay on Sabrina’s graft case verdict

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Dhaka, Dec 1 – The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court yesterday stayed a High Court order that had allowed a convicted person to contest in the upcoming general election.
The seven-member bench of the Appellate Division led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order after hearing two petitions filed by the state and Anti-Corruption Commission seeking a stay on the HC order that stayed the jail term awarded to Jashore-2 BNP candidate Sabira Sultana. Following the apex court order, Sabira Sultana will not be able to compete in the 11th national parliamentary elections. The apex court decision also blocks the path for other candidates with jail sentences of two or more years wishing to compete in the polls, attorney general Mahbubey Alam told reporters after the Supreme Court order.
Echoing the same view, ACC lawyer Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan said that now, convicted people would not be able to contest in the upcoming elections slated to be held on December 30.
The ACC on January 9, 2011, had filed the graft case against Sabira.
On July 12 last, the special judge court-7 awarded six-year imprisonment to Sabira Sultana and fined her Tk. 5,000 in the case filed for amassing wealth illegally.
Jashore Jhikorgacha Upazila Chairman Sabira Sultana had filed an appeal with the High Court over a six-year jail sentence awarded to her over graft.
Responding to her appeal, the HC bench of Justice Md Rais Uddin said that a convicted person could take part in polls if his/her conviction and fine were stayed by the HC.
It had stayed the conviction and sentence of Sabira Sultana clearing the way for her to contest the upcoming 11th parliamentary election.
But the HC decision was challenged by the state and the ACC on Saturday morning.
The chamber judge then stayed the High Court’s decision and sent the matter to the Appellate Division on Saturday.
The chamber court also sent the state petition to the full bench of the Appellate Division. In its order, the chamber judge said: “As we previously issued a decision on the matter, the order will be stayed until tomorrow and sent to the full court.”
After hearing on the appeal, the apex court came up with the order yesterday morning.
Attorney general Mahbubey Alam, additional attorney general Murad Reza and additional attorney general Momtaz Uddin Fakir represented the state. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was represented by Khurshid Alam Khan and ABM Bayezid.
Advocate AJ Mohammad Ali, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Zainul Abedin, and advocate Aminul Islam represented Jashore Jhikorgacha Upazila chairman Sabira Sultana during the hearing. – Staff Reporter

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