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Law minister: Khaleda has to seek presidential pardon to go abroad

  • Published at 02:14 pm June 30th, 2021
Law Minister Anisul Huq
File photo of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq Dhaka Tribune

The lawyer-turned-politician threw a challenge of quitting his profession if anyone can show another legal means

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has to first confess to her corruption offense and then seek pardon from the president to get the government’s approval on her medical treatment abroad, Law Minister Anisul Haq said.

Khaleda has no other alternative but to confess her guilt and seek mercy to the president if she wants to go abroad, the minister told parliament on Wednesday.

This is the only legal way open to her, the lawyer-turned-politician said throwing a challenge that he will quit his profession if anyone can show another legal means.

Anisul was responding to allegations from two BNP legislators that the government is not allowing the former prime minister to leave the country for receiving better medical treatment because of political reason.

Also Read - Fakhrul: BNP’s efforts on to send Khaleda abroad

Speaking on the cut motion during the passage of the budget for 2021-22 fiscal, BNP lawmakers Harunur Rashid and Mosharof Hosen demanded that the government allows Khaleda to get treatment abroad.

The law minister said Khaleda’s family members had applied for her release to take her abroad for treatment.

“But in their application, they did not mention any provision of the law,” he said.

In this connection, he mentioned that the government considered an earlier appeal under Section 401 of penal code and suspended her corruption sentences and released her on two conditions.

The two conditions were that she will receive treatment at home staying in the country.

“They [Khaleda Zia's family] accepted it. They took Begum Zia home from jail,” he added.

Pointing to BNP leaders’ repeated appeal to send Khaleda abroad, the law minister said that once an application is disposed of, it cannot be reconsidered.

Also Read - Ailing Khaleda has only one way left to travel abroad

“They have applied and got her released abiding by certain conditions. Now they are saying that she has to go abroad and applied accordingly. That application has been disposed of. No one else can do anything about it. That application has been disposed of under Section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure,” the law minister said.

He also said that there are six sub-sections in the law.

“If you [BNP MPs] can show under those sub-sections that you will be able to apply again [to take Khaleda abroad], then I will not be in the legal profession anymore,” he challenged.

Pointing to provisions of the law to free Khaleda, the law minister said that any convicted person has to be released through the law.

“There is a way--they can apologise to the President or to the government admitting the guilt under Section 401. If they ask for forgiveness, they can consider forgiving.”

Referring to Khaleda’s treatment, he said she was at Evercare Hospital where she received proper care.

The law minister urged the BNP to stop doing meaningless political stunt regarding Khaleda’s treatment.

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