• Monday, Dec 05, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:24 am

Ailing Khaleda has only one way left to travel abroad

  • Published at 05:06 pm May 11th, 2021
khaleda zia
The May 2021 file photo shows BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at the Evercare Hospital in Dhaka Collected

Law Minister says Section 401 of the CrPC can be reconsidered if she submits a mercy plea to the prime minister

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia now just has one way to get permission to go abroad for her treatment, according to the law minister.

If she makes a mercy plea to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, there is an opportunity to consider it under Section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). But in that case, she has to admit guilt and then apologize, Anisul Huq said this on a talk show at a private TV channel on Monday, reports Bangla Tribune.

Explaining why it was not possible to respond to Khaleda’s request for permission to go abroad, he said a convicted accused can apply for release citing his or her physical condition.

Section 401 gives the government the power to take action against convicted criminals. Whatever the government has to do, it has to be done in line with the law, Anisul said. 

Recalling Khaleda’s conditional release under Section 401, the minister said, following her release, the application was disposed of. After that, Section 401 has no power to reconsider a settled application.

Replying to a question on whether the premier can clear the BNP chief’s travel abroad, he said: “If the prime minister has to allow someone to go abroad, it must be done through the law. Now I don't have a law that says she should be allowed to go abroad.

“But now if Khaleda Zia apologizes to the prime minister, then there is an opportunity to consider that appeal under Section 401. If she submits the mercy plea to the president, action can be taken under Section 402 (2). Article 49 of the constitution makes it clear that the president can pardon her. Still, there is the question of her apologizing.”


The law minister, however, is not sure whether Khaleda would be forgiven even if she apologises. 

“The law suggests a way: seeking an apology. If pardoned, a convict can do whatever he or she wants,” he said.

“It is said that ASM Abdur Rab was given the opportunity to go abroad in 1977 even after being convicted. As there was a military rule in place then, the president had full control over the law and by using it, ASM Abdur Rab was allowed to go abroad,” Anisul added.  

The law minister also said that there are examples of the Appellate Division granting bail and allowing an accused to go abroad for treatment. 

“That can be given by the court if it grants bail. But in this case, when Section 401 is applied, there is nothing more to do,” he observed.

Claiming that he is not against Khaleda’s travel abroad, he said Section 401 was applied to release her conditionally.

“This application has been disposed of. There is no scope in the law for reconsideration of this application. They can just apologize as mentioned in the law. This is also applicable if the convict writes to the president and the prime minister by confessing to the crime she committed,” he concluded.

Plea rejected

On Sunday, the Law Ministry rejected the plea seeking the government’s permission to take Khaleda Zia abroad for receiving advanced treatment.

On March 25 last year, the former prime minister was released after the government suspended her sentences and verdict for six months in a corruption case through an executive order under two conditions – she would have to take treatment at her Gulshan residence and that she cannot travel abroad.

On August 27 last year, the government extended her release for six more months. It was extended again for another six months on March 15 this year.

Khaleda, 76, tested positive for Covid-19 twice in a month – on April 10 and April 24. Her blood report and CT scan results were normal.

She was moved to the Coronary Care Unit at Evercare Hospital on April 28 after complaining of breathing issues. Her shortness of breath was caused by excess fluid accumulating in her lungs, according to her personal doctors.

She, however, tested negative for Covid-19 on Saturday, but she is yet to be free of health risks, according to her doctors.

On May 5, Khaleda’s younger brother Shamim Iskander met the home minister at his Dhanmondi residence and submitted the application. The home minister then sent the application to the Law Ministry for consideration.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir had also met the home minister, on May 3, and discussed the matter.

It may be recalled that on February 8, 2018, the former prime minister was lodged in the old Dhaka Central Jail after a lower court jailed her for five years in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. The High Court later doubled her jail term.

She was also found guilty in another corruption case the same year.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail