Sigma Huda, Mir Helal granted ad interim bail
The High Court (HC) yesterday granted three months' ad interim bail to Sigma Huda, wife of detained former communications minister Nazmul Huda, and Mir Helaluddin, son of detained ex-state minister for civil aviation Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin, in two cases filed under the Emergency Power Rules.
The HC bench of Justice Md Abdul Quddus and Justice Syed Mohammad Ziaul Karim passed the orders after hearing the bail petitions of Sigma and Helal.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case against Sigma and her husband with Dhanmondi Police Station on March 21 last year, stating that the couple took Tk 2.4 crore in bribe from the proprietor of a construction firm.
The watchdog pressed charges against them on June 4 the same year.
On August 27, 2007, a special court sent Sigma for three years' simple imprisonment and Nazmul for seven years' rigorous imprisonment in the bribery case.
The ACC filed the case against Helaluddin with Gulshan Police Station on March 6 last year on charge of abetting his father who was charged with amassing wealth illegally in the same case.
On July 4, 2007, a special court convicted Helal of trying to help his father cover up ill-gotten property by channelling Tk 5.64 crore into the bank accounts of his wife and mother-in-law after drawing the amount from his family's joint account.
He was sentenced to three years for the crime. Nasir was given 10 years' rigorous imprisonment for illegally amassing wealth and three years' simple imprisonment for concealing wealth information worth over Tk 6.72 crore to the ACC.
Later on December 13 last year, the HC granted bail to Sigma and Helal in the two cases following their petitions.
The ACC, however, appealed to the Appellate Division against the HC orders, securing cancellation of the bail orders on March 6.
The Appellate Division in its ruling said that appellate courts, including the HC, do not have the jurisdiction to grant bail to individuals convicted by special courts trying cases filed under the Emergency Power Rules.
The apex court's judgment, however, said that an appellate court may grant bail on three grounds: if the appellant was given short prison terms, if their appeal against the special court's sentence was not disposed of in the stipulated 90 days or if a duly constituted medical board certifies that the appellant is ill.
Advocate Khandaker Mahbubuddin Ahmed stood for Helal while barrister Rafique-ul Huq for Sigma.