SC says ACC notice legal | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 14, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 14, 2008

HC Verdict On Hasina's Wealth Statement Cancelled

SC says ACC notice legal

Also cancels stay orders on notices to Khaleda, Sajeda, Naziur, Taimur

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The Supreme Court yesterday cancelled the High Court verdict that declared illegal issuance of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) notice asking former premier and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina to submit her wealth statement.
Following the SC decision the ACC notice issued on Hasina became valid.
Meanwhile, the SC also cancelled the HC order of staying operation of similar ACC notices to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, AL presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Bangladesh Janata Party Chairman Naziur Rahman Manju and ex-BRTC chairman Taimur Alam Khandaker.
With the apex court's decision ACC can now advance with its proceedings regarding the notices to Hasina, Khaleda, Sajeda, Naziur and Taimur.
The seven-member full bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Ruhul Amin delivered the verdict following an appeal by ACC.
The same court also cancelled the stay on operation of ACC notices to Khaleda, Sajeda, Naziur and Taimur following the anti-graft watchdog's leave to appeal against the HC interim orders.
But Khaleda's counsel barrister Mahbub Uddin Khakon told The Daily Star though the SC cancelled stay on the notice the rule on ACC in this regard is still pending with the HC.
"As the rule is pending with the High Court we will go for hearing on it," Khakon said.
"We might have an argument on different grounds and during the hearing in the High Court we'll try to cover the points based on which Appellate Division has cancelled verdict on Hasina," Khakon said.
He made the comment when asked whether yesterday's verdict will be applied to Khaleda's petition against ACC notice as the case pattern is similar to Hasina's case regarding the notice.
Khakon also said the notice issued to Khaleda by the ACC is itself defective.
He said they will argue on different grounds during hearing on the HC rule issued following Khaleda's petition challenging ACC's notice asking to submit her wealth statement. But counsels for the state and Hasina said after yesterday's judgment the fate of all writ petitions challenging ACC notice will be the same.
Attorney General Fida M Kamal and Hasina's chief counsel barrister Rafique Ul Huq told journalists following yesterday's judgment notices to other people issued by the ACC asking for wealth statements would become valid.
Fida said the fates of about 200 graft cases of ACC became uncertain due to the HC verdict declaring ACC notice to Hasina illegal and indeed that verdict also created a stagnant situation in the present anti-corruption drive.
The AG said yesterday's verdict dispels doubts about the future of around 200 graft cases filed by the ACC.
The HC on November 21 declared illegal issuance of the ACC notice asking Hasina to submit her wealth statement.
The HC gave the verdict after hearing of an HC rule issued in August following Hasina's writ petition challenging the legality of the ACC notice.
The ACC issued the notice to detained Hasina on July 17 and to Khaleda asking to submit her wealth statement on July 18.
Following Khaleda's writ petition challenging legality of the notice the HC on November 25 stayed its operation and issued a rule on ACC to explain why the notice would not be declared illegal.
The HC had also stayed operation of the ACC notices to Sajeda, Naziur and Taimur following separate writs.

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