BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's petitions seeking the Supreme Court's permission to contest the December 30 polls may not be heard before the election, as the court, which is now on annual vacation, will reopen on January 2.
Besides, the chamber judge of the Appellate Division is scheduled to sit on the bench to deal with urgent cases on December 31.
In such a situation, lawyers cannot move Khaleda's three petitions before the SC until Election Day. As a result, the BNP chief cannot run for the polls, Khaleda's lawyers told The Daily Star yesterday, seeking anonymity.
Khaleda will not be benefited if the petitions are moved before the SC after the election, one of the three lawyers said.
As the SC is yet to hear Khaleda's petitions that seek stay on the High Court orders, the HC orders disqualifying her for contesting the polls are now in force, he added.
Advocate AJ Mohammad Ali, principal lawyer for Khaleda's case, refused to make any comment regarding this when The Daily Star contacted him over phone.
On Monday, Khaleda filed the three petitions to the SC seeking a stay on the HC orders on her nomination papers' cancellations.
In the petitions, Khaleda prayed to the apex court to direct the Election Commission to accept her nomination papers, to allow her to contest the December 30 polls, and to allocate the “sheaf of paddy” as her election symbol.
The HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan passed the order saying if a person was convicted and sentenced to more than two years in prison for moral turpitude, they were not eligible to participate in polls for five years after serving jail term.
On December 11, the HC bench of Justice Refaat and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir Lytton passed split orders on the three petitions. The next day, the chief justice assigned the bench of Justice Hassan to dispose them.
Khaleda was sent to jail on February 8 after a special court in Dhaka sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. On October 29, she was sentenced in another corruption case, bringing her total jail term up to 10 years.