The Supreme Court yesterday extended its earlier order that stayed the bail granted by the High Court to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a murder case filed in Comilla.
The apex court, however, asked the High Court to hear and dispose of the rule over the permanent bail of Khaleda in the case within four weeks.
The case was filed in connection with the killing seven people and the injury of 25-26 others when a bus was set on fire in Comilla's Chouddagram on February 2, 2016.
Yesterday, a four-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC, led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, passed the order following a leave-to-appeal petition filed by the government challenging the HC's bail order.
On May 28, the HC granted six months' bail to Khaleda and also issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why Khaleda should not be granted regular bail in the case.
Following a government's petition, the Appellate Division on May 31 stayed the HC bail order.
During the hearing on the leave-to- appeal petition on June 24, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam prayed to the apex court to scrap the bail, saying the incidents of killing through arson took place at Khaleda's instruction and instigation and she could not get bail in the case.
What message would the victims and their family members get if Khaleda were granted bail, he told the SC.
Khaleda's lawyer Khandker Mahbub Hossain told the SC that the government's agents had conducted the subversive acts, including torching vehicles, during anti-government movement in order to damage the image and prestige of his client.
There was no specific allegation against her of instigating such activities, the lawyer argued.
Meanwhile, the HC is set today to hear four appeals in connection with the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case in which Khaleda was sentenced to five years' imprisonment.
Of the four pleas, one was filed by Khaleda seeking acquittal of the charges, a revision petition was filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission seeking the increasing of Khaleda's jail term and two other appeals were filed by convicts -- Qazi Saleemul Huq alias Qazi Kamal and Sharfuddin Ahmed -- seeking their acquittals.
The HC on March 12 this year granted four months' bail to Khaleda in this case.
On May 16, the apex court upheld the HC order of bail in this case.
Khaleda is accused in 34 cases.