Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday ruled out that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia could be released on parole.
Khaleda's lawyer Khandker Mahbub Hossain on Wednesday urged the government to release her on parole on humanitarian grounds.
“If Khaleda Zia is released from jail on parole, it will be a serious breach of the Jail Code,” the law minister told The Daily Star yesterday.
“The fact is that Khaleda Zia is now serving time upon conviction … matters of such prisoners are dealt with the Jail Code. The Jail Code allows parole in cases of urgency,” he said, adding that Khaleda did not meet the criteria for parole.
Meanwhile, BNP senior leaders want to meet Khaleda in prison on Eid day.
“We have already sought permission from the authorities concerned to meet her on Eid day and we hope we will get the permission,” Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, secretary general of the party, told The Daily Star.
Fakhrul said BNP standing committee members would place floral wreaths at party founder Ziaur Rahman's grave on the morning of Eid and then meet Khaleda in jail, provided they get permission.
“It is inhumane to keep a 73-year-old woman inside jail. It is nothing but an example of political vengeance. We have no words to condemn it,” he said.
On Saturday, a four-member team of Khaleda's personal physicians met her in the jail on Nazimuddin Road and examined her health.
The doctors claimed that Khaleda had suffered a mild stroke on June 5. But the very next day, three ministers claimed that she did not suffer a mild stroke; rather her blood sugar level had dropped.
The government wants to take her to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University hospital but Khaleda refused to go there.
On June 12, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said Khaleda would be taken to Combined Military Hospital for necessary health checkups if the party wanted.
Meanwhile, BNP chief's younger brother Shamim Iskander wrote to the home ministry seeking permission to pay for all medical expenses if Khaleda was admitted to United Hospital.
Khaleda yesterday filed two petitions seeking bail in two cases lodged in connection with “undermining” the national flag and celebrating her “fake” birthday on August 15.
Her lawyer Masud Ahmed Talukder submitted the petitions with two separate Dhaka courts and the courts fixed June 21 for their hearings.
In another development, two other Dhaka courts withdrew production warrants issued for her in connection with Barapukuria coalmine and Gatco graft cases.
The courts passed the orders after Khaleda's lawyer submitted certified copy of the Supreme Court that upheld her High Court bail in connection with the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
The government, meanwhile, has filed two appeals with the SC challenging the HC orders that granted Khaleda bail in two criminal cases lodged in Comilla.
“The Supreme Court will hold hearing on the leave to appeal petitions on June 24,” Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told The Daily Star yesterday.
On February 8, Khaleda was sent to jail after a special court sentenced her to five years' rigorous imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
She was first arrested on November 28, 1983, followed by May 3, 1984 and November 11, 1987 during the anti-Ershad movement and kept confined to her then cantonment residence.
She celebrated Eid in jail during the army-backed caretaker government rule in 2007 when her archrival Awami League President Sheikh Hasina was also in the sub-jail in the parliament complex. Khaleda then was in jail for a year.