COMILLA BUS BURNING

Appellate Div decision on Khaleda’s bail Jul 2

M Moneruzzaman | Published: 23:20, Jun 24,2018 | Updated: 23:30, Jun 24,2018

 
 
Khaleda Zia

Khaleda Zia. — New Age file photo

The Appellate Division said on Sunday that on July 2 it would give decision on government’s petition seeking cancellation of bail granted to former prime minister and BNP chairman Khaleda Zia
by the High Court Division in a case relating to burning a bus at Chouddagra, Comilla in which eight passengers died during the countrywide non-stop blockade in 2015.
A four-judge bench chaired by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain set the schedule after hearing the government’s petition seeking permission to appeal against the High Court’s order.
The bench deferred until today hearing another government petition seeking permission to appeal against the High Court Division’s another order granting her bail in a separate case relating to burning a covered van at Chouddagram during the same blockade.
On May 31, the Appellate Division stayed the bails granted by the High Court Division in both the cases.
The Appellate Division also deferred until today hearing the government’s regular petitions opposing her bails.
At Sunday’s hearing, attorney general Mahbubey Alam opposed Khaleda Zia’s bail on the plea that she had abetted killing of eight passengers of the bus on February 2, 2015 during the countrywide roads and highways blockade.
The attorney general said that it would be injustice to the victims of bus burning if she being the main accused was granted bail.
He said that it was a mistake on the part of the High Court Division to grant her bail without considering the evidence against her.
He also said that the High Court Division should not have granted her bail during pendency of hearing of her bail application by the trial court.
Khaleda Zia’s lawyer Khandker Mahbub Hossain pleaded for upholding her bail as she needs better treatment to save her life.
He submitted that the attorney general made false allegations against Khaleda Zia as she was confined in her party office during the blockade.
He also submitted that actually government agencies burnt buses by throwing petrol during the blockade to create public opinion against BNP’s hartals and blockades.
Khandker Mahbub pointed out, ‘we are not seeking her acquittal, we only want her bail on health ground, leaving it to the trial court to decide on the basis of evidence whether or not she was guilty for which she had been accused of.
At the outset of Sunday’s hearing, the attorney general sought its adjournment until today.
He said he was keen on offering customary felicitations to 18-newly appointed additional judges of the High Court Division in their chambers.
The Chief Justice asked the attorney general to make his submissions as an Appellate Division judge would not be available for hearing from Monday.
From today, a three-judge bench of the Appellate Division led by the Chief Justice would hear another government petition opposing her bail in the covered van burning case.
Khaleda’s lawyer Zainul Abedin called it unfortunate that the Appellate Division put of its decision until July 2 as the attorney general wanted to delay her release on bail though her life was at risk.
He submitted that the court should not play in the hands of the government.  

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