The High Court yesterday granted six-month bail to former textiles and jute minister Abdul Latif Siddique in a corruption case, filed on charge of misusing power in selling a government property.
There is no legal bar for Latif Siddique to walk out jail following the HC order, his lawyer Advocate Shah Monjurul Hoque told The Daily Star.
The court also issued a rule asking the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the government to explain why Latif Siddique should not be granted permanent bail in this case.
The HC bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice AKM Zahirul Huq came up with the order and the rule following a petition filed recently by Latif Siddique, seeking bail in the case.
Anti-Corruption Commission lawyer Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan told this correspondent that the commission will move an appeal before Appellate Division of the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the HC order that granted bail to Latif Siddique.
ACC Assistant Director Aminul Islam lodged the case with Adamdighi Police Station in Bogura on October 10, 2017. Jahanara Rashid, wife of late Harunur Rashid, was also made accused in the case.
According to the case statement, Jahanara Rashid leased a piece of land in Adamdighi upazila -- owned by Bangladesh Jute Corporation -- for three years at Tk 1.2 lakh per year on May 13, 2010.
In spite of getting repeated orders from the textiles and jute ministry to pay rent for the land, Jahanara applied to the ministry to purchase the land on November 13, 2011.
The then textiles and jute minister Latif Siddique, without floating any formal tender, sold the land to Jahanara at Tk 23.94 lakh although its market price was Tk 64.63 lakh.
Following the incident, the ACC filed the case against Latif and Jahanara under the Penal Code and section 5(2) of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 1947.
On June 20 this year, a Bogura court sent Latif Siddique to jail in the case, rejecting his bail petition.