The High Court yesterday sought information about the medical treatment of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who is now in the prison cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.
The court ordered the BSMMU vice-chancellor to submit a report by 5:00pm on Wednesday through the Supreme Court's registrar general and also set Thursday for hearing Khaleda's bail petition in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.
The bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice AKM Zahirul Huq asked the VC to mention in the report whether Khaleda consented to her "advance" treatment.
If she gave the consent, the VC will have to mention in the report whether the medical board concerned has started her treatment.
The VC will have to state in the report the latest health condition of the BNP chief if the medical board has started treatment, the HC bench said in the order.
The bench passed the order as Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told it that the BSMMU authorities had earlier submitted a report to the SC's Appellate Division, saying that the medical board concerned was waiting for Khaleda's consent for providing her better treatment.
The medical board is ready to treat her, but she has not given her consent, the attorney general said.
During yesterday's hearing, the BNP chief's lawyer Zainul Abedin told the court that Khaleda's health has been getting worse since December 12 last year. She is seriously ill and cannot move and take medicine on her own, the lawyer said.
Therefore, she needs bail for better treatment in the UK, he added.
He prayed to the court to grant Khaleda bail on health and humanitarian grounds.
The attorney general opposed the petition saying that the HC had earlier rejected a similar petition of Khaleda and the Appellate Division also upheld the order.
Khaleda filed the petition on February 18.
In the petition, the BNP chief said she has been suffering from several diseases like diabetes and dental problem, and her physical condition had been deteriorating since December 12 last year.
She is now seriously ill. She cannot move freely, take food, and medicine without the help of others. She needs immediate treatment/therapy abroad, like in the UK, says the petition.
Meanwhile, the BNP yesterday expressed optimism that the HC, demonstrating the independence of the judiciary, would deliver the "appropriate" order in the bail petition.
"We believe the judiciary will protect its independence by delivering a verdict as per the case merit as she [Khaleda] has been kept in jail unlawfully," Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, secretary general of the party, said around two hours before the HC bench started hearing the petition.
He made the comments at a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club in the capital. Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal, labour wing of BNP, organised the programme, demanding release of Khaleda.
The BNP leader said they believe in the High Court and that's why they are going there repeatedly.
"But it is unfortunate that the current fascist regime is regulating the court. So, people are not getting justice, and Khaleda Zia is also denied justice."
Fakhrul said, "The bail is her right, but she has been deprived of that right."
He mentioned that former BNP leader Nazmul Huda, former ministers Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, and Abdul Manan are out on bail even after being convicted in graft cases.
But the BNP chief has not been granted bail in similar cases, he added.
Fakhrul also condemned the "police attack" on a procession of BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Saturday.
On August 8, 2011, the Anti-Corruption Commission lodged the graft case with Tejgaon Police Station against four people, including Khaleda. They were accused of abusing power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.
A special court in Dhaka jailed Khaleda and three others for seven years in the case on October 29, 2018.
Khurshid Alam Khan appeared for the ACC, while a group of pro-BNP lawyers, including Khandker Mahbub Hossain and Moudud Ahmed, represented Khaleda.
The BNP chief landed in jail after being sentenced to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case by the same court on February 8, 2018.
On October 30, 2018, the HC enhanced her punishment to 10 years in the case after dismissing her appeal.