The Supreme Court yesterday upheld four High Court orders that stayed the trial proceedings against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in three cases for vandalism and arson and one for defamation.
The apex court, however, asked the High Court to hear and dispose of the rules issued in connection with the cases.
With yesterday’s orders, the SC has so far upheld 12 HC orders that stayed trial proceedings of 12 cases against Khaleda, her lawyer AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon told The Daily Star.
Yesterday, a three-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC headed by Justice Muhammad Imman Ali gave the orders after virtually hearing four separate leave to appeal petitions filed by the state seeking stay on the HC orders.
Additional Attorney General Momtaz Uddin Fakir appeared for the state while Mahbub represented Khaleda during the virtual proceedings.
The HC will hold hearings on the rules for their disposals, Mahbub said, adding that Khaleda is on bail in these cases.
He said Khaleda is accused in 37 cases and she is on bail in 35 and has been convicted in two.
The BNP chairperson was released from jail through an executive order issued by the government on March 25 this year.
Following four separate petitions filed by Khaleda, the HC on different days in 2017 stayed the trial proceedings against her in three separate vandalism and arson cases and a defamation case and also issued four rules asking the government to explain as to why the proceedings of the cases should not be scrapped.
The vandalism and arson cases were filed with Darus Salam Police Station and the defamation case was filed with a Dhaka court after Khaleda made a statement on the number of martyrs of the Liberation War.
The cases were filed during anti-government agitations by BNP-led alliance in 2015.
The defamation case was filed after Khaleda at a discussion on December 21, 2015, at the Institution of Engineers said, “There are controversies over how many were martyred in the Liberation War. There are also many books and documents on the controversies.”