Zia Charitable Trust case
SC rejects Khaleda's bail plea
Staff Reporter :
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed an appeal petition filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia seeking bail in the Zia Charitable Trust case.
The apex court, however, asked the medical board of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) to provide Khaleda with advance biological treatment with her consent.
A six-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order after hearing the parties.
In the ruling, the court said, "This is a unanimous order. Petition is dismissed. Medical board is directed to take necessary steps immediately for advance biological treatment with the consent of the petitioner."
Earlier the court heard from both the parties about the three medical reports regarding Khaleda Zia's health condition. Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain and Advocate Zainul Abedin took part in the hearing on behalf of Khaleda Zia, attorney general Mahbubey Alam appeared for the state and advocate Khurshid Alam Khan appeared for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
During the hearing, former Advisor to the Caretaker Government Barrister Mainul Hosein, Advocate Abdul Matin Khasru, Advocate AJ Mohammad Ali, Barrister AM Mahbub Uddin Khokan, Advocate Fazlur Rahman and Barrister Ruhul Quddus Kazal, among others, were present in the court.
After the court order, advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain said in a reaction, "We appeared in the legal fight seeking bail for Khaleda Zia. It is unprecedented that the court did not consider bail in a case in which the accused got only seven years 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," added the chief law officer of the state.
At the beginning of the hearing, 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 the courtroom.
Then the chief justice said that, "Only appellate division enrolled lawyers would be allowed to enter today (Thursday) in the courtroom. Finally, the chief justice asked the 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 to enter the courtroom.
During hearing, Khaleda's lawyers Advocate Zainul Abedin read out the medical report prepared by BSMMU about the health condition of Khaleda Zia.
The seven-member medical board report said, "Khaleda Zia is suffering from Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension, Cough variant Asthma, and Rheumatoid Arthritis with secondary Sjogren syndrome with bilateral total knee replacement due to advance knee osteoarthritis."
"Her blood pressure and Asthma is well controlled. The Diabetic state needs further control," also commented the medical board.
"Her Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is highly active with advanced deformities and marked functional decline. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic debilitating and progressive illness for which till now no curative treatment has been discovered. However, remarkable progress has been achieved in controlling the disease over last few decades. In case of Mrs Zia the first line conventional therapy is failed to induce remission. The board considered Tocilijumab a biological treatment for her as per latest international recommendations. Till now a positive decision in this regard has not been obtained from the patient," commented the medical board.
Advocate Zainul Abedin said he was praying for Khaleda Zia's bail to the apex court on humanitarian ground.
Earlier, a tight security measure was taken at the Supreme Court premises centering the hearing. 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.
A special court in Dhaka on October 29, 2018 convicted Khaleda in connection with the Zia Charitable Trust case and sentenced her to seven-year rigorous imprisonment.
On November 18, 2018, Khaleda Zia filed an appeal with the High Court challenging the lower court verdict and sought acquittal in the case. At the same time she filed a bail petition in the case which was rejected by HC on July 31.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Charitable Trust case against Khaleda, Harris, Ziaul and Monirul with Tejgaon police on August 8, 2011.
The BNP Chief landed in jail on February 8 last year after a Dhaka court sentenced her to five years imprisonment 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.
Khaleda Zia had been admitted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) since April 1 for treatment.