SC asks HC to rehear appeal that set Nazmul Huda, Sigma free

Staff Correspondent

The Appellate Division on Monday asked the High Court to hear afresh the merit of the appeal filed by former Bangladesh Nationalist Party minister Nazmul Huda and his wife Sigma Huda challenging their convictions in a bribery case.
A four-member Appellate Division bench headed by Justice SK Sinha issued the directive after setting aside a High Court verdict that had acquitted the couple of the bribery charges.
On August 27, 2007, a special judge’s court sentenced Nazmul Huda to five-year and Sigma to three-year imprisonment respectively on charge of taking Tk 2.40 crore as bribe from Mir Zahir Hossain, at different times, in exchange for awarding him five government contracts for construction work, including road renovation worth about Tk 30 crore.
On May 20, 2011 the HC acquitted the couple on their appeals against the conviction.
The Anti Corruption Commission had appealed against the High Court verdict on acquittals of Nazmul and Sigma on ‘flimsy ground’ that the investigation into the bribery case was approved in February 2007 when no commissioner had been appointed, submitted Khurshid Alam Khan, who stood for the ACC.
The HC, however, did not hear on the merit of the case, Khurshid Alam added.
He said, the Appellate Division asked the HC to dispose of the couple’s appeal after hearing on the merit of the bribery case and the conviction based on it.
Advocate-on-record Md Taufique Hossain, who appeared for the couple, sought adjournment of the hearing saying they were abroad.
Nazmul Huda’s junior Ashanur Rahman told New Age the couple instructed him to file a petition to review the Appellate Division’s order.
Khurshid Alam told reporters that the convictions, which had been handed down by the special judge’s court to the couple, would now be revived following the apex court order.
But the couple need not surrender as they got bail from the High Court earlier, he said.

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