SC defers Khaleda’s bail hearing as authorities fail to submit medical report

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-12-05 11:07:18 BdST

The top court has deferred a hearing on a bail plea by Khaleda Zia in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case after the authorities sought more time to submit a report on the BNP chairperson's health.

The court gave the authorities until Dec 11 to hand in the medical report and fixed Dec 12 to issue the next order in the matter.

A six-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order on Thursday.

But the decision triggered a hue and cry among pro-BNP lawyers as they pressed for an earlier hearing date for the bail appeal. The justices eventually left the courtroom amid the commotion.

It had given the BSMMU authority until Dec 5 to submit the report. But at the start of the proceedings on Thursday, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam informed the court that BSMMU's VC had requested more time to prepare the report.

"They still have to run a few more tests on Khaleda for which they need time."

Khaleda's lawyer Joynul Abedin subsequently referred a previous medical report to the court and said the former prime minister's health was in a "very bad" state.

But the attorney general refuted the validity of the report which he said was "not prepared by the medical board".

It came after the High Court rejected Khaleda’s bail petition in the case, prompting her lawyers to rush to the Appellate Division for a remedy.

Oct 29 last year, a special court in Dhaka sentenced Khaleda to seven years in prison in the case dubbed “false” by the BNP.

The former prime minister was transferred to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital on Apr 1 this year for treatment from the old jailhouse on Nazim Uddin Road.

The government formed a board with doctors from the BSMMU to examine Khaleda's health.

Khaleda has been in prison since February last year serving a total of 17 years in jail in the Zia Orphanage and Zia Charitable Trust corruption cases.