Hearing on 15 politicians' bail petitions stayed for a week
The High Court (HC) yesterday adjourned for a week the hearing of the petitions filed by 15 high-profile politicians, including Awami League President Sheikh Hasina, former ministers Abdul Jalil, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, for granting bail and quashing the cases against them.
The HC bench of Justice Sharif Uddin Chaklader and Justice Md Emdadul Haque Azad fixed July 27 for hearing the petitions following a time prayer moved by newly appointed Attorney General (AG) Salahuddin Ahmed.
The AG told the HC that as per a ruling issued by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court it could not hear the bail prayers of the accused in the criminal cases filed under the Emergency Power Rules (EPR).
He also said the Appellate Division on July 20 stayed five HC orders that granted bail to the accused in the cases.
The HC bench asked the AG whether the HC could consider bail prayers of the accused against whom specific allegations were not brought.
“Will the accused suffer in jail for years without trial if the investigation reports are not submitted within 60 days after filing of the cases?" the court asked.
AG Salahuddin said he would make submissions interpreting these matters but he needed time for it. The court then adjourned the hearing of the petitions. Salahuddin later told the journalists the HC could not consider bail petitions in the cases filed under the EPR following the Supreme Court judgement.
The politicians, who filed petitions for bail and quashing the cases against them, include M Shamsul Islam, Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, Mirza Abbas, Mujibur Rahman Sarwar, AKM Rahmat Ullah, AHM Mostafa Kamal alias Lotus Kamal, Lutfozzaman Babar, Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Salman F Rahman, Ismail Hossain Mission and Mirza Azam.
Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim filed the petitions for quashing proceedings against them in the Tk 3 crore extortion case filed by businessman Azam J Chowdhury.
The others filed petitions for quashing the proceedings of the graft cases filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC).
Some 30 petitions were recorded for hearing in the yesterday's cause list of the HC bench.
Advocate Khan Saifur Rahman, Khurshid Alam Khan and Abdul Aziz Khan stood for the ACC, while barrister Rafique-Ul Huq, M Amir-Ul Islam and Shafique Ahmed represented the petitioners.