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Khaleda challenges move to shift trials to Keraniganj

  • Published at 02:52 pm May 26th, 2019
khaleda zia
A shadow of her former defiant self Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Khaleda Zia has been in jail since February 2018

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has filed a petition with the High Court challenging the legality of shifting the trials against her to a makeshift courtroom on the premises of Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj.

The petition was filed on Sunday.

Khaleda's lawyer Kaiser Kamal said the bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Md Khairul Alam is likely to hear the petition on Monday.

The Law Ministry on May 13 issued separate gazette notifications about setting up a makeshift court inside Keraniganj jail and holding trial in 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 the shifting of Khaleda's trials. 

Later, Khaleda filed the petition as the government did not take any action regarding the matter. 

Three government officials--including home and law secretaries-- were made respondent to the writ. 

The newly-constructed building 2 of the central jail was declared the makeshift court as per the sub-section 2 of section 9 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Criticizing the gazettes, Kamal said the constitution does not allow holding trials in jails or open space.

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.

Earlier this month, the home minister 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 kept, will be converted into a museum, he told reporters.