A bench of the High Court (HC) has refused to hear a petition filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia seeking bail in Zia Charitable Trust corruption case in which she was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment by a lower court.
The HC bench of Justice Farid Ahmed and Justice ASM Abdul Mobin told Khaleda’s lawyers that a senior HC bench earlier rejected a similar bail petition on merit.
However, the lawyers have opportunity to move an appeal before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court against the HC’s rejection order, the bench said.
Earlier on July 31, another HC bench rejected a bail petition of Khaleda in the same case, considering the gravity of the offense mentioned in the case, and some other issues.
“We have gone through the impugned judgement and order of conviction and sentence, but did not notice any apparent or glaring infirmity in those,” the HC bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice SM Kuddus Zaman bench had said in the order.
Khaleda on September 3 submitted the petition to the HC seeking bail for the second time in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case, saying that she is seriously ill and is now hospitalised, as she has been suffering from various health complications.
In the bail petition, Khaleda also urged the HC to consider her bail on some other grounds -- including that she is a 74-year-old woman and the chief of BNP -- the largest political party; she was a three-time prime minister; and also the jail sentence handed down by the trial court is short.
The ACC filed the case with Tejgaon Police Station on August 8, 2011. On October 29 last year, a special court in Dhaka convicted Khaleda in the case and sentenced her to seven years’ imprisonment in her absence.