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Khaleda Zia’s bail petition rejected by Appellate Division
Khaleda Zia

Khaleda Zia’s bail petition rejected by Appellate Division

Dhaka, Dec 12 – The Supreme Court’s (SC’s) Appellate Division yesterday dismissed an appeal filed by BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia against a High Court (HC) order that had turned down her bail petition in a corruption case. After concluding arguments from the state and defence counsels, the six-member Appellate Division bench headed by chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain came up with the dismissal order saying: “the petition is dismissed with observation.”
During the deliberation of the apex court order, the chief justice said, “This is an unanimous order. The petition is dismissed. The medical board is directed to take necessary steps immediately to provide the petitioner with advanced treatment “biological treatment” as per the medical board’s recommendations. If Khaleda Zia will give her consent for taking advanced treatment, the medical board of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) would take necessary steps immediately to provide her with advanced treatment, the apex court said.
After the top court order, advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain, one of the counsels for Khaleda, expressed dissatisfaction over the apex court order and said, “We appeared in the legal fight seeking bail for Khaleda Zia. It is an unprecedented incident that the top court did not consider bail in a case, in which the accused got only seven years simple imprisonment. It would be a scandalous event for the Supreme Court.”
Attorney general Mahbubey Alam said, “The Appellate division dismissed Khaleda Zia’s bail petition after hearing the parties. But, the court directed the medical board to give her advance treatment with her consent. We submitted three medical reports in the court. We showed the court that her physical condition has not deteriorated significantly.”
“In some cases, Khaleda Zia is not giving consent to the doctors for her treatment, according to the report. Then, the court directed the doctors to provide her treatment with her consent,” the chief law officer of the state added.
Earlier in the morning, the six-member bench of the Appellate Division started the hearing on Khaleda Zia bail pleas after receiving the medical report submitted by the SC Registrar General Ali Akbor.
According to the medical report prepared by the seven-member medical board that Khaleda Zia has been suffering from Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Cough variant Asthma, and Rheumatoid Arthritis with secondary Sjogren syndrome with bilateral total knee replacement due to advanced knee osteoarthritis.
The board also commented that her blood pressure and Asthma is well controlled. The Diabetic state needs further control.
After discloser of the medical report, Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain told the court that a huge number of deputy attorney generals and assistant attorney generals were present at the courtroom whereas the defence counsels (Pro-BNP lawyers) have been barred to enter into the courtroom.
Then, the chief justice said that only Appellate Division enrolled lawyers would be allowed to enter into the courtroom.
However, the chief justice finally asked both parties to keep 30 lawyers each from defence and state.
At the same time, the pro-BNP lawyers created chaos and shouted at the entrance of the courtroom as police and administration did not allow all of them at the courtroom.
During hearing, Advocate Zainul Abedin, counsel for Khaleda, read out the medical report and prayed to the apex court granting her bail on the humanitarian ground saying that his client health condition is not good. She needs advanced treatment as per the medical board recommendations. So, at this stage she is right to get bail, he added.
Zainul cited many examples before the apex court about the apex court orders that granted bail on humanitarian grounds and medical grounds even after the accused persons convicted by the lower courts and the High Court in various cases.
He also said that the Pakistan Supreme Court ordered the authorities concerned to bring the former prime minister Pakistan Nawaz Sharif before the court through Ambulance to know his health condition. After producing him before the court, it allowed him to go abroad for taking treatment.
As per the medical board recommendations, Khaleda needs to take treatment in abroad as the treatment provided by the BSMMU is not enough for her recovery, he added.
Opposing his submission, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told the court that Khaleda Zia is not seriously ill as she has long been suffering with these diseases. She went into jail after getting conviction by the lower court with these diseases. The authorities concerned provided Khaleda with treatment in line with the High Court directive.
It is possible to recover Khaleda by the treatment provided from the BSMMU as her treatment is going on after formation of a medical board.
He also said that the offences committed into the case by a former prime minister not only a common people. Considering the gravity of offences, the lower court convicted her and the High Court also upheld the verdict. So, she cannot get bail in the case, he noted.
After that ACC lawyer Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan told the court that the High Court rejected her bail prayer in the meantime as the accused person committed the offence after staying in high position of the state. So, she cannot get bail in the case, he added.
Meanwhile, the authorities concerned have made foolproof security arrangements in and around the court premises to avoid any untoward incident ahead of the hearing.
As part of the security measures, the SC administration has set up eight closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the Chief Justice’s courtroom of the Appellate Division.
Additional policemen were deployed in front of the entrance of SC and people willing to enter the court premises are being allowed after checking on those.
Soon after the bail petition was dismissed, Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum brought out a protest procession on the Supreme Court premises and termed the apex court order as politically motivated.
On December 5, the apex court had directed the BSMMU authorities to submit the medical report of the BNP chief by December 11 without fail.
On November 29, an apex court bench had sought Khaleda’s medical report to know her health condition while hearing her bail petition in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case, in which she was imprisoned by a trial court. The bench had asked the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) authorities to submit Khaleda’s medical report in the court by December 5. But the BSMMU sought time on December 5 and then the apex court set December 12 for further hearing on the bail petition.
Khaleda had moved the top court on November 14, challenging an HC order that had turned down her bail petition in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.
On September 11, the HC bench of Justices Farid Ahmed and ASM Abdul Mobin had rejected Khaleda’s bail petition in the case in which she is serving a 10-year sentence. Her bail petitions were turned down twice before, on July 31 and September 3.
On August 8, 2011, the ACC lodged the Zia Charitable Trust case with Tejgaon police against four people, including Khaleda. They were accused of abusing power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources. A special court jailed the BNP chief and three others for seven years in the corruption case on October 29 last year. Khaleda later moved the HC, which increased her sentence by three more years.
The BNP supremo has been in prison since February 8, 2018, after she was sentenced to jail for five years in a separate corruption case. On October 6, Khaleda was admitted to the BSMMU for better treatment in response to a court order. – Staff Reporter