POST TIME: 10 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 September, 2018 11:35:56 PM
Govt to form medical board for Khaleda, says home minister
BNP wants Khaleda treatment at United
Senior leaders call on home minister, urge CJ for inquiry into ‘misuse of judicial power’
Staff Reporter

BNP wants Khaleda treatment at United

The government will form a seven-member medical board to treat ailing BNP chief Khaleda Zia. Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan gave this assurance to a BNP delegation which met him yesterday to demand that the jailed leader be immediately admitted to United Hospital for treatment. The seven-member BNP team was led by party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. Following the meeting at the Secretariat in the afternoon, the home minister told reporters that the BNP team had also proposed the name of Apollo Hospital along with United Hospital for Khaleda’s treatment. “The government would again form a medical team for Khaleda and take a decision on her treatment in accordance with the jail code,” he said.

The minister said some of the BNP chairperson’s personal physicians would also be included in the medical board. He also said the BNP delegation apprised him that the jailed leader was suffering from arthritis and proposed to provide her treatment at a specialised hospital. Later, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters: “You know, our chairperson is now in jail and her health condition has deteriorated. We have requested the home minister to provide her treatment at a specialised hospital. We want the government to send our leader to United Hospital, which is her favourite hospital.”

The BNP leader also said that the home minister had assured them to take necessary measures in consultation with the authorities concerned. Other members of the BNP delegation were standing committee members Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, barrister Jamiruddin Sircar, barrister Rafiqul Islam MIah, Mirza Abbas, Nazrul Islam Khan and Dr Abdul Moin Khan.

Besides meeting the home minister, the BNP made several moves yesterday over the treatment of Khaleda, who has been languishing in jail following her conviction in a corruption case on February 8. Pro-BNP lawyers, led by Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Advocate Joynul Abedin, met the Chief Justice and also filed a writ petition in the High Court (HC) to seek its order to the government to admit Khaleda Zia in a specialised hospital for treatment.

The pro-BNP lawyers submitted an application to the Office of the Chief Justice, requesting him to hold “inquiries into the misuse of judicial powers” regarding shifting of the court to continue the trial of Zia Charitable Trust case against the BNP chief. In the application, they also urged Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain to take appropriate action against the judicial officers who were “crossing their legal boundaries at the instance of the government”.

Joynul Abedin and SCBA secretary barrister AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon signed the application. Pro-BNP lawyers advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain, barrister Jamiruddin Sircar, advocate AJ Mohammad Ali, Zainul Abedin, AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon, advocate Mir Mohammad Nasir Uddin and barrister Bodruddoza Badal met the Chief Justice at his Supreme Court office and placed the application before him. After the meeting, Abedin told reporters that the Chief Justice assured them of looking into the matter within his legal and administrative jurisdiction. The application said shifting the court for holding the trial of Zia Orphanage Trust case against Khaleda has offended her right to have a fair trial as has been guaranteed under Article 35(3) of the Constitution in as much as this will cause prejudice to her right to have a public trial.

Khaleda is now seriously ill and she is unable to walk, and in this situation, she needs a medical treatment first than trial and the government itself is claiming that she is ill, it said. Despite this, the court did not take appropriate step for her treatment by any doctor of her choice, the application added.

The lawyers also said the constitution as well as the statutory scheme does not and cannot allow any government, legal or illegal, to set up any court or to continue any trial in any abandoned jail. Also yesterday, the BNP chairperson filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking its directive on the government to send her to a specialised hospital in Dhaka for treatment. The HC may hold a hearing on the petition today (Monday), barrister AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon, one of the counsel for the BNP chief, told reporters after filing the petition.

Citing from the petition, Khokon said the BNP chairperson was seriously ill as she has been suffering from different diseases and therefore needs to be admitted to a specialised hospital for treatment.