The High Court today granted six-month bail to former minister Abdul Latif Siddique in seven cases on charge of hurting people’s religious sentiment.
The court also stayed proceedings of the cases moved by separate pleas filed by Latif Siddique and issued a rule asking why those proceedings would not be scrapped.
The freeze order on the proceedings will be effective until disposal of the rule, the HC bench of Justice Md Nizamul Huq and Justice Farid Ahmed ruled after hearing.
However, Latif will not be eligible to get release from prison since he is accused in at least 21 other cases filed with divisional courts outside Dhaka, according to his lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua.
On November 25 last year, a Dhaka court sent the sacked minister to prison after he surrendered before police in a case filed over his comments that allegedly demeaned hajj.
Two days before his surrender, Latif returned from India, where he stayed low for a while allegedly hiding there following outrage in the country over his comments.
He is accused of around 22 cases filed in 18 districts for offending religious sentiments. There were multiple arrest warrants against him.
It all began with his speech a programme in the US on September 28 last year. He allegedly demeaned hajj, the largest Muslim congregation, Tablighi Jamaat and the prime minister’s son.