The High Court yesterday cleared the way for a lower court concerned to resume the trial proceedings against BNP leader Tarique Rahman and three others in a bribery case involving Tk 21 crore.
Three other accused in the case are former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, Abu Sufian, director of East West Property Development Pvt Ltd, a sister concern of Bashundhara Group, and former lawmaker Qazi Saleemul Huq Kamal.
On October 10, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the case with Ramna Police Station against Tarique, senior vice-chairman of BNP, Babar and four others in connection with the murder of Humayun Kabir Sabbir, a director of Bashundhara Group, in July 2006.
Later, the ACC submitted a charge sheet against eight people. All the accused are now on bail.
In the case, allegations were brought against the accused of taking and accepting bribes worth Tk 21 crore to suppress the murder case.
Yesterday, the HC bench of Justice Md Ruhul Quddus and Justice Mahmudul Hoque rejected four separate petitions submitted by Tarique, Babar, Sufian and Saleemul, challenging the trial proceedings of the case against them.
The court also vacated its 2008 orders that had stayed the trial proceedings against them.
ACC's lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told The Daily Star that there is no legal bar to run the trial proceedings by the trial court against the accused.
In 2008, Tarique, Babar, Sufian and Saleemul filed four petitions with the HC for scrapping the trial proceedings of the case.
After hearing the petitions on February 16 this year, the HC bench fixed yesterday for delivering verdict on the appeals.
Petitioners' lawyer Raghib Rauf Chowdhury told this correspondent that Tarique is now in London for treatment and Babar is now in jail.
Meanwhile, another HC bench led by Justice M Enayetur Rahim yesterday ordered the authorities concerned of the government to send a summons notice to the present address of Tarique in London, asking him to surrender before the trial court by March 31 in the Tk 20.41-crore money laundering case.
The bench also set March 31 for passing further orders in this regard, ACC lawyer Khurshid added.