HC asks for documents on Khaleda’s birth date
The High Court has sought relevant documents from the government in order to determine the actual date of birth of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
In response to a writ petition, the court yesterday asked authorities concerned of the government to provide the record regarding her birthday to it in 60 days.
The HC also issued a rule asking the respondents to show causes as to why their inaction to prosecute Khaleda Zia under the relevant law for celebrating her birthday on different days to deliberately malign and undermine the solemnity of the National Mourning Day of August 15 should not be declared illegal.
Secretaries to the ministries of home affairs and health and family planning, inspector general of police, commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, and officer-in-charge of Gulshan Police Station are respondents to the rule.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Sardar Md Rashed Jahangir came up with the order and rule after hearing a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Md Mamun-or-Rashid challenging the legality of celebrating birthday by Khaleda Zia on August 15.
In the petition, the SC lawyer said it is a matter of great distress for the nation that Khaleda Zia has mentioned her date of birth as being August 15, 1946 in her present passport with the ulterior motive and malafide intention of maligning the National Mourning Day when Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members were brutally killed in 1975.
The petitioner said Khaleda Zia's birthday is recorded as: September 5, 1946 in her SSC certificate; August 4, 1944 in her marriage registration; August 5, 1946 in her machine readable passport issued in 2001; and May 8, 1946 in her Covid-19 test report released on May 8, 2021.
Lawyer Nahid Sultana Juthi appeared for the writ petitioner while Deputy Attorney Generals Arobinda Kumar Roy and Bipul Bagmar supported the writ petition.
BNP Joint Secretary General and former Supreme Court Bar Association Secretary AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon opposed the writ petition saying the writ petitioner has filed the petition in order to achieve a political gain.
Thousands of people, including Khaleda Zia, were born on August 15, he said, adding it is not for the HC to deal with matters like birthdays.