The High Court yesterday cleared the way for a lower court to continue trial proceedings against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and eight others in Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases.
Meanwhile, the lower court yesterday fixed July 9 for recording statements from the prosecution witnesses of the cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The HC also summarily rejected two separate writ petitions filed by Khaleda challenging the legality of appointment of the trial court judge, who framed charges against her and eight others in the cases.
In the petitions, the BNP chief prayed to the HC for scrapping the indictment order issued against her and the proceedings of the cases.
The HC bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque passed the rejection order after hearing arguments from Khaleda's counsels AJ Mohammad Ali and Zainul Abedin, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan.
It could not be known on what grounds the bench had come up with the order as the copy of the order was not released yesterday.
The attorney general told The Daily Star that there was no legal bar for the trial court to running proceedings against Khaleda Zia and others in two cases following the HC order.
Advocate M Asaduzzaman, a lawyer for Khaleda, said they were yet to decide whether they would move for an appeal to the Supreme Court against the HC order.
The BNP chief on May 12 filed the writ petitions with the HC challenging the appointment of the judge of Special Judge's Court-3 of Dhaka, Bashudev Roy.
On March 19, Roy framed charges against Khaleda and eight others in the corruption cases. The court of Roy was set yesterday for recording statements from the witnesses of the cases.
But it deferred the date for recording the deposition of prosecution witnesses to July 9 after Khaleda's lawyers prayed to the court for adjournment of the proceedings.
The lawyers in their prayer argued that the two writ petitions filed by Khaleda were pending with the HC.