Former textiles and jute minister Abdul Latif Siddique was released yesterday after the Supreme Court upheld his bail in a corruption case.
“Abdul Latif Siddique walked out of the prisons cell at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, where he was undergoing treatment, yesterday evening after completing the relevant procedures as the Supreme Court upheld his bail order,” his lawyer Advocate Shah Monjurul Hoque told The Daily Star.
Earlier in the day, the SC upheld a High Court order that granted bail to Latif Siddique.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order after dismissing a leave-to-appeal petition filed by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) challenging the HC order.
Advocate Munsurul Hoque Chowdhury argued for Latif Siddique, while Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan argued for ACC.
On November 4, the HC granted six-months’ bail to Latif Siddique and also issued a rule asking the ACC and the government to explain why he should not be granted permanent bail in this case.
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.
Despite 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.