Khaleda files writ against move to shift trial
Staff Reporter :
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Sunday filed a writ petition with the High Court challenging the legality of the government notification, which says Niko case filedÂ against her will be tried by a special court inside Keraniganj Central Jail instead of by a Dhaka court.
The Law Ministry on May 12 issued the gazette notification saying trials of 17 cases including the Niko case against Khaleda Zia would be held at a Special Court inside Keraniganj Central Jail in Dhaka due to security reason. Building-2 of the Keraniganj Jail has been prepared for this,, the notification said.
In the petition, Khaleda prayed to the High Court to stay the effectiveness of notification issued by the Law Ministry.
Citing the petition, Barrister Kayser Kamal, a lawyer for Khaleda, told the reporters that the gazette notification issued by the Law Ministry transferring the court for holding trial of Niko case is contradictory to the relevant provision of the Constitution and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Under the provision, the trial of any case will have to be held in open court. The trial of Niko case in a room in the Keraniganj jail cannot be a public trial and it is against the Constitution and CrPC, Kayser said, adding that the gazette is "illegal and unconstitutional".
He said the High Court will hold hearing on the writ petition today (Monday).
The trial court is scheduled to hold hearing on the Niko case against Khaleda Zia on May 30.
Khaleda Zia is undergoing treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) since April 1.
A day after the gazette was issued, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said she would be moved to the Keraniganj Central Jail after being discharged from the BSMMU.
"The government would convert the old central jail, where Khaleda has been kept since last year, into a museum. All preparations have been completed to shift her to Keraniganj Central Jail," he told reporters at his office in the secretariat.
Khaleda Zia landed in jail on February 8 last year after a Dhaka court sentenced her to five years imprisonment in in Zia Orphanage Trust case. The High Court on October 30 last year enhanced the punishment of Khaleda to 10 years imprisonment in this case.