The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the High Court’s orders that stayed the trial proceedings against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in four separate vandalism and arson cases filed in 2015.
The apex court, however, asked the HC to hear and dispose of the rules issued in connection with the cases. It asked Attorney General Mahbubey Alam to take necessary steps for the HC hearing on the rules.
Another Dhaka court yesterday set October 6 for the appearance of Khaleda before it in 11 cases lodged against her following a time plea from the defence.
A five-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, came up with the orders after virtually hearing four separate petitions filed by the state seeking stay on the HC’s orders.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Deputy Attorney General Bishwajit Debnath appeared for the state while Barrister AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon and Barrister Bodruddoza Badal represented Khaleda Zia during the virtual proceedings.
Speaking to The Daily Star, Badal said that the HC stay orders on the trial proceedings of Khaleda Zia will remain in force following the apex court’s order.
The HC will hold a hearing on the rules for their disposals, he said, adding that Khaleda is on bail in these cases.
He added that Khaleda is accused in a total of 37 cases and she is on bail in 35 of them and has been convicted in two (Zia Orphanage and Zia Charitable) cases.
The BNP chairperson was released from jail following an executive order issued by the government on March 25 this year.
Following four separate petitions filed by Khaleda, the HC on April 13, 2017 stayed the trial proceedings against her in four separate vandalism and arson cases and also issued four rules asking the government to explain as to why the proceedings of the cases should not be scrapped.
The cases were filed during an anti-government agitation enforced by a BNP-led alliance in 2015.
Meanwhile, Dhaka Metropolitan Session’s Judge Imrul Qayes set October 6 for Khaleda’s appearance before it in 11 cases lodged against her.
He set the date allowing a time plea from the defence, court assistant clerk Anisur Rahman told BSS.
Of the cases, eight were filed with Darus Salam Police Station for carrying out subversive activities, and two others were filed with Jatrabari Police Station.
Police filed 10 cases while one, for sedition, was filed by a civilian.
The hearing on the charge framing in 10 cases was scheduled to be held yesterday, while the court was also to accept the charge sheet in the sedition case.