The Appellate Division on Thursday extended until June 24 its stay on bails granted to former prime minister and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia by the High Court Division in two separate cases in Comilla.
In one case Khaleda Zia has been accused of abetting the killing of eight passengers of a bus that was set ablaze at Chouddagram, Comilla when roads and highways were blockaded across the country in 2015 in protest against holding one-party parliamentary polls on January 5, 2014.
In the other case also she is accused of abetting burning a covered van also at Chouddagram, Comilla, during the nationwide roads and highways blockade in 2015.
On May 29, Appellate Division’s chamber judge, Justice Hasan Foez Siddique stayed until May 31, Khaleda Zia’s ad-interim bails the HC had granted on May 28, in two cases.
The chamber judge had set May 31, the last working day before the 23-day summer vacation, for hearing a government petition opposing her bail, by the Appellate Division’s regular bench.
On Thursday, after hearing a provisional petition of the government, a four-judge bench of the Appellate Division chaired by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain extended the stay on Khaleda Zia’s bails, and asked the government to file by June 24 separate regular petitions against her bails.
The Appellate Division said it would hear the government’s regular petition opposing her bails on the first working day after the 23-day summer vacation.
In the afternoon, an HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim denied bails to Khaleda Zia in two other cases.
But the HC bench directed two metropolitan magistrates’ courts in the capital to expeditiously hear and dispose of her bail petitions that were kept pending till July 5.
In one case Khaleda Zia was accused of showing disrespect to the national flag while the other one alleges that she had doctored her birth date.
Another HC bench of Justice AKM Asaduzzaman and Justice JBM Hassan adjourned until June 24 hearing Khaleda Zia’s petition seeking bail in a Special Powers Act case which alleges that she had abetted burning a bus at Chouddagram, Comilla during the blockades causing deaths of eight passengers.
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