The High Court today stayed the trial proceedings of a corruption case filed against former textiles and jute minister Abdul Latif Siddique for six months.
The court also issued a rule asking the Anti-Corruption Commission and government to explain why the trial proceedings against Latif Siddique should not be scrapped.
The bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice AKM Zahirul Huq came up with the order and rule following a petition filed by Latif Siddique -- now on bail -- seeking cancellation of the proceedings against him in the case.
ACC's lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told The Daily Star that the commission will move an appeal before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court seeking stay on the HC order.
ACC Assistant Director Aminul Islam lodged the case with Adamdighi Police Station in Bogura on October 10, 2017. One 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.