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27 May, 2019 12:33:31 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 27 May, 2019 11:50:41 AM
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Khaleda files writ against govt move

Shifting courts to Keraniganj jail
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Khaleda files writ against govt move

BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has filed a petition challenging the legality of the government’s move to shift her trial in the Niko graft case to the Central Jail in Keraniganj from the now defunct jailhouse in Old Dhaka.  Barrister Kayser Kamal, counsel for the BNP chief, filed the petition at the related branch of the High Court, seeking a stay on the effectiveness of the government’s notification, which said that the trial would be conducted in a makeshift court in Keraniganj.  The HC bench comprising Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Md Khairul Alam is likely to hold the hearing on the petition on Monday, lawyers concerned have said.

 On May 12, the law ministry in a gazette notification said that the trials proceedings of 17 cases involving Khaleda Zia, including the Niko graft case, would be held in a special court in the Keraniganj Central Jail in Dhaka due to security concerns.

 In her petition, the BNP chief has said that the notification has violated Articles 17 and 31 of the Constitution along with Sections 9(1) and (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

 It also alleged that the law ministry gazette notification to transfer the court for holding the trial of the Niko case was contradictory to the relevant provision of the Constitution and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Under the provision, the trial of any case will have to be held in an open court, according to the petition.

 The trial of the Niko case in a room in the Keraniganj jail cannot be a public trial and it is against the Constitution and CrPC. Hence, the gazette is “illegal and unconstitutional,” the petition said.

 Earlier, on May 21, barrister Kayser Kamal sent a legal notice on behalf of the BNP chief to the government, challenging the circular on shifting the trials to the court in the Keraniganj jail.

 The circular runs contrary to Article 35 of the Constitution, which stipulates ‘public trial’, Kayser said, citing the legal notice. In the legal notice, the government had been given a 24-hour ultimatum to scrap the circular. As the government did not reply to the notice, the writ petition was filed with the HC, challenging the notice.

 Former Prime Minister Khaleda has been in jail since February last year after she was convicted of corruption charges. Her party claims that the cases against her are politically motivated and accuses the government of plotting to keep her out of national politics – a charge the government has denied.

 Khaleda has been receiving treatment at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) for various health complications since April 1.

 Earlier this month, the home minister said that Khaleda would be taken to the Keraniganj jail after her treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh MujibMedical University.

 The old Central Jail, where she had been kept, will be converted into a museum, he told reporters.

MK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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