POST TIME: 7 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 December, 2017 03:16:00 AM
Barapukuria coal mine corruption case
HC asks former home minister Altaf Hossain to surrender

HC asks former home minister Altaf Hossain to surrender

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed former home minister Altaf Hossain Choudhury to surrender before the trial court in connection with the Barapukuria coal mine corruption case.

It asked the BNP leader to surrender before the trial court within four weeks of the lower court receiving the HC directive.

An HC bench, comprising Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim, passed the order after rejecting a petition filed by Altaf seeking cancellation of the trial proceedings in the case.

After the HC order, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told reporters that there is no legal bar to run the trial proceedings of the case against Altaf following the HC order.

In response to a query, Khursid Alam Khan said that the HC came up with the order after vacating its earlier stay order and discharging the rule issued by it.

He also said that if Altaf surrenders before the trial court within the stipulated time, his bail in the case will be continued. But the law will take its own course if he does not surrender.

Earlier, on May 28, the Appellate Division had dismissed a leave-to-appeal petition filed by BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia challenging an HC verdict that cleared the way for running the trial proceedings of the case.

On September 17 last year, the HC had rejected a petition filed by Khaleda Zia for quashing the proceedings of the Barapukuria coalmine corruption case against her.

On February 26, 2008, the ACC filed the case with Shahbagh police station, alleging that Khaleda Zia and 15 of her former cabinet colleagues, including Altaf, had taken Tk. 159 crore in kickbacks from the Barapukuria coalmine deal awarded to the highest bidder instead of the lowest one.

Responding to a petition filed by Khaleda, the HC on October 16, 2008, stayed the case proceedings and issued a rule asking the ACC to explain why the case should not be quashed.

The Appellate Division later upheld the stay order, leaving the corruption case in the cold. Khaleda, however, managed to secure a permanent bail in the case on January 15, 2012.