The Supreme Court has stayed until Thursday a High Court order that had granted bail to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in two cases filed in Cumilla.
The chamber judge of the Appellate Division Justice Hasan Foez Siddique on Tuesday passed the order after hearing a petition filed by the state challenging the High Court order.
He also sent the state appeal to the regular Appellate Division bench, led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, fixing Thursday for the next hearing.
On Monday, the High Court had granted Khaleda the interim bail in the two Cumilla cases filed on charges of plotting to carry out subversive acts and rejected the bail plea in a defamation case filed in Narail.
Soon after the order, the state moved the Appellate Division challenging it.
On May 19, the High Court granted Khaleda permission to file these bail petitions.
A day before, the Appellate Division had upheld another High Court order that had granted bail to the former prime minister, who was convicted and sent to jail for five years in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8.
However, Khaleda was not freed from jail as she was shown arrested in other cases filed with different police stations in Dhaka, Cumilla, Narail and Panchagarh.
The BNP chairperson is now facing a total of 36 cases.
Eight people were killed and at least 20 others injured when miscreants hurled a petrol bomb at a bus at Jogmohanpur in Cumilla’s Chouddagram during the BNP-led 20-party alliance's movement on February 3, 2015.
A covered van was also vandalized and torched in Chouddagram on Dhaka-Chattogram Highway on January 25 that year.
Two cases were filed against Khaleda over these incidents.
Also, on December 21, 2015, the BNP chief at a discussion in Dhaka had raised questions about the actual number of 1971 Liberation War martyrs, saying: "There're controversies over how many people were martyred in the Liberation War."
Reacting to her remarks, a defamation case was filed against her with a Narail court three days later.
The High Court will pass its orders on Thursday on the bail petitions filed by Khaleda Zia in two other defamation cases.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim on Tuesday fixed the date after partially hearing the petitions.
Deputy Attorney General Aminul Islam Manik said the court would deliver its orders after hearing Attorney General Mahbubey Alam's arguments.
The bail petitions were filed on May 22.
One of the cases was a defamation suit filed by Bangladesh Jananetri Parisad President AB Siddik on November 3, 2016 against the BNP chief for distorting history of the Liberation War, and demeaning the national flag and the country’s map.
The other case was filed by journalist Gazi Jahirul Islam on August 30 same year accusing Khaleda of celebrating her birthday on August 15 on false information.