The BNP chairperson is petitioning against shifting her trial's venue
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s writ petition against shifting her trial's venue has been ordered back to the regular bench from the High Court's vacation bench.
The High Court's vacation bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order on Tuesday.
Advocate Khandaker Mahbub, Advocate AJ Mohammad Ali, and Barrister Moudud Ahmed represented Khaleda.
Additional Attorney General Murad Reza said Khaleda’s lawyers have been asking for extensions in this case since 2018. He claimed the writ petition was filed to get even more time.
Earlier on Monday, Khaleda's lawyers filed a time petition to submit supplementary case documents to the High Court bench. The bench had adjourned the hearing till today.
The Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, on May 13, issued separate gazette notifications about setting up a makeshift court inside Keraniganj jail and holding trial for the 17 cases against Khaleda there.
On May 21, Khaleda's lawyers sent a legal notice to the government challenging the government notice issued regarding moving Khaleda's trials.
On May 26 Khaleda Zia filed a petition with the High Court challenging the legality of shifting the trial venue.
On May 27, the High Court bench permitted the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to become a party in the writ petition filed by Khaleda challenging the government notification.
The newly-constructed building 2 of the central jail was declared the makeshift court as per Sub-Section 2 of Section 9 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Criticizing the gazettes, Barrister Kayser Kamal—who is also a lawyer for Khaleda—said the constitution does not allow for trials to be held in jails or open spaces.
Khaleda, BNP chairperson and former prime minister, has been in jail since February 2019, after she was convicted of corruption.
Her party claims that the cases against her are politically motivated and accuses the government of plotting to keep her out of national politics - a charge the government denies.
The home minister has said the BNP chief would be taken to Keraniganj jail after her treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU). The old central jail, where she had been imprisoned, will be converted into a museum, he told reporters.