The Appellate Division on Tuesday deferred until morning today the delivery of its verdict in appeals filed by the government and the Anti-Corruption Commission to cancel a High Court Division order that had granted bail to former prime minister and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.
On conclusion of hearing both the sides, the apex court on May 10 announced that the verdict would be delivered on Tuesday.
At the outset of the Tuesday’s hearing attorney general Mahbubey Alam was allowed to make further submissions on his request though he had concluded his submission on May 10.
Then the attorney general proceeded to make further submissions for an hour when the recess was 10 minutes away.
In the process, the scheduled delivery of the verdict did not take place.
Later, on the attorney general’s request, a four-judge bench chaired by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain rescheduled the verdict delivery for today.
The hearing witnessed a confusing situation from the very outset amid pin drop silence as the courtroom awaited the verdict delivery, the attorney general said after getting the permission to make further submissions that he as he was not prepared, he would make the submission on Wednesday and the verdict delivery could be postponed until then.
During making further submissions the attorney general was heard repeating what he had said on May 10 before concluding his arguments.
The attorney general read out five verdicts the Appellate Division had given in 2008 upholding bails granted on health ground by the High Court Division to Awami League leader Mohammad Nasim, then BNP leader Nazmul Huda, BNP leader Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku, Mir Muhammad Helal, son of BNP leader Mir Muhammad Nasir and BNP leader Mashiur Rahman, all of whom were at that time in jail as convicts.
He submitted that there was no scope to grant bail to Khaleda Zia as her appeal was ready for hearing by the High Court any time.
The attorney general prayed to the Appellate Division to direct the High Court Division to dispose of Khaleda Zia’s appeal against her sentence expeditiously.
Khaleda’s lawyer Zainul Abedin refrained from offering replies to the attorney general’s further submissions dismissing them as nothing but mere repetition of what he had already submitted.
The court then rescheduled verdict delivery for today.
Zainul Abedin told New Age that it was unprecedented for the Appellate Division to allow making further submissions by postponing verdict delivery.
He described the whole affairs as ‘motivated’.
Earlier, Khaleda Zia’s lawyers made a strong plea for upholding bail granted to her by the High Court Division on the grounds of her illness, old age considering her short jail term.
They pointed out that there was no precedence of the Appellate Division inferring with bails granted by the High Court Division to convicts.
But there was no dearth of instances of the Appellate Division granting bails that were refused by the High Court Division, submitted her lawyers.
They described the attorney general’s plea for speedy disposal of Khaleda Zia’s appeal against her conviction was made with mala fide political motive to disqualify her for election as well as poltics.
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