The High Court on Thursday began hearing Bangladesh nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia’s appeal against her conviction and sentence for five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust case.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman began hearing the appeal few hours after the Appellate Division deferred till July 31 its order on Khaleda’s petition for withdrawal or extension of July 31 deadline it set for the disposal of the appeal by the High Court.
In its ruling, a four-judge bench chaired by chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain said that that it would consider Khaleda’s petition if the High Court failed to complete the hearing of the appeal by July 31.
The High Court began the hearing at 11:00am and told lawyers that it would hear the appeal from 2:00pm on every Sunday, Monday and Thursday and for the whole day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The bench extended Khaleda’s bail in the case by a week as the four-month bail granted by it expired on Thursday.
On May 16, the Appellate Division upheld Khaleda’s bail for four months granted by the High Court pending the hearing of her appeal.
The Appellate Division upheld her bail setting the July 31 deadline for the disposal of the appeal by the High Court.
Khaleda could not be released on bail as she was wanted in six more cases.
Earlier, the chief justice directed the High Court bench to dispose of Anti-Corruption Commission’s appeal for increasing Khaleda’s sentence, holding analogous hearing with Khaleda’s appeal against her five-year jail.
The apex court also directed the High Court to hold analogous hearing to dispose of appeals of former BNP lawmaker Qazi Saleemul Huq and Sharfuddin Ahmed against their sentences in the case.
Since February 8, the former prime minister has been in the old Dhaka Central Jail.