62 'political' cases to be dropped | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 11, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 11, 2009

62 'political' cases to be dropped

Govt decides to recommend withdrawal of 12 cases against Hasina

The government has decided to recommend withdrawal of 62 "politically motivated" cases filed against Awami League leaders, including 12 against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
State Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Quamrul Islam yesterday said as of yesterday they received 824 applications for withdrawal of cases filed during the tenures of the BNP-led four-party alliance government and the last caretaker government.
"We have reviewed 113 of those cases and found 62 fit for withdrawal," he said.
The cases were filed for political harassment, he told reporters after a meeting of the government's central committee on withdrawal of harassing and politically motivated cases at the home ministry. He said the committee would sit on June 21 again on the matter.
Quamrul informed that the deadline for filing application for withdrawal of cases will be extended until June 30. He, however, earlier told reporters that the government would not extend the time beyond May 31.
Of the 62 cases to be withdrawn, 13 are against AL lawmaker Kamal Ahmed Majumder, nine against AL Presidium member Tofail Ahmed, four each against former chief whip Abul Hasanat Abdullah and Awami Sweschchhasebak League President AFM Bahauddin Nasim, two against AL Presidium member Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, one each against State Minister for Housing and Public Works Abdul Mannan Khan, AL lawmakers Engineer Mosharraf Hossain and Mokbul Hossain.
Quamrul said 36 of these cases are filed under the penal code and 26 under the Anti-Corruption Commission act.
He said no criminal cases for murder, arms or rape have been considered for withdrawal.
Cases filed against BNP leaders including its Chairperson Khaleda Zia were not on the list. Khaleda and her family members had appealed for withdrawal of 20 cases filed against them during the rule of the last caretaker government.
Quamrul said they had not yet received the applications filed by leaders of opposition parties. "Once we get their applications, we will review those and make recommendations accordingly," he said.
Asked if cases are being withdrawn on political consideration, the state minister said, "There is no question of doing so."
He said as per law the government cannot withdraw cases filed by the ACC without its nod. The government will send the ACC its recommendations for withdrawal of the "politically motivated" cases according to the commission's own laws.
Of the 12 cases against Hasina, 10 were filed by the ACC and two by others, including the Paltan killing case by Jamaat-e-Islami. Eight cases were filed during the previous BNP-led alliance government's rule and the rest during the tenure of the last caretaker government.
Asked if there was any pressure on the ACC, Quamrul said they are not putting any pressure on the ACC or trying to influence it and would not do so.
Quamrul strongly criticised the caretaker government led by Fakhruddin Ahmed, saying the ACC was used to harass political leaders during the rule.
Among the 113 cases reviewed so far, 43 will be reviewed further and eight, including four cases against Abul Hasanat Abdullah, have been rejected, said Quamrul.

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