The Appellate Division on Sunday upheld the High Court Division order that stayed trial proceedings in four more cases against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
A three-member bench led by Justice Muhammad Imman Ali passed the order after rejecting a petitions filed by the state.
Additional Attorney General Mamtaz Uddin Fakir represented the state while Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon stood for Khaleda.
The three arson cases were filed at Darussalam Police Station in 2014-2015 while a sedition case was filed with the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in 2016 for derogatory remarks on freedom fighters.
On December 21, 2015, Khaleda Zia at a discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh questioned the actual number of martyrs. "There're controversies over how many were martyred in the Liberation War. There're many books and documents on the controversies," she said.
The High Court later stayed the trial proceedings of the four cases. It also issued a rule asking the government to explain why the cases should not be scrapped.
This prompted the state counsel to move the Appellate Division.
On August 23 this year, the Appellate Division upheld the High Court Division’s order that had stayed the trial proceedings in four other arson and vandalism cases against the former prime minister filed at Darussalam and Jatrabari police stations in 2015.
Earlier on August 17, the apex court upheld the High Court order halting trial proceedings in four other cases of sabotage against the BNP Chairperson.
The cases were filed in January and March 2015 during a shutdown enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance. The High Court stayed the trial proceedings of the four cases in May 2017.
The court also issued four rules asking the government to explain why the court proceedings of the cases would not be declared ‘scrapped’.
Former prime minister Khaleda was sent to Old Dhaka Central Jail after her conviction in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018.
In March this year, the BNP chief was released from jail for six months upon an executive order considering her age and on humanitarian ground following an application by her family.
On September 15, the government extended her conditional release by another six months.
Witness deposition in the murder case filed over the death of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) student Abrar Fahad has been deferred until October 5.
Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal Judge Abu Zafor Mohammad Kamruzzaman passed the order Sunday as Abrar’s father Barkatullah, the case’s plaintiff, is sick, said advocate Manzurul Alam.
On Sept 15, the tribunal framed charges against 25 accused.
The accused are Mehedi Hassan Rasel, Civil Engineering, Batch-13; Muhtasim Fuad, Civil Engineering, Batch-14; Anik Sarker, Mechanical Engineering, Batch-15; Mehedi Hasan Robin, Chemical Engineering Batch-15; Ifti Mosharraf Shakal, Biomedical Engineering, Batch-16; Moniruzzaman Monir, Water Resources Engineering, Batch-16; Meftahul Islam Zion, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Batch-15; Mazedur Rahman, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering, Batch-17; Muzahidur Rahman Muzahid, Civil Engineering, Batch-16; Tabakhkharul Islam Tanvir, Mechanical Engineering, Batch-16; Hossain Mohammad Toha, Mechanical Engineering, Batch 17; Jisan, Engineering, Batch-16; Md Akash, Civil Engineering, Batch-16; Md Shamem Billah, Marine Engineering, Batch-17; Nazmus Sadat, Mechanical Engineering, Batch-17; Ajtesamul Rabbi Tanim, Civil Engineering, Batch-17; Morshed Amartya Islam, Mechanical Engineering, Batch-17; Moaz Abu Huraira, Computer Science Engineering, Batch-17; Muntasir Alam Jemi, Chemical Engineering, Batch-17; Amit Shaha, Civil Engineering, Batch-16; Muztaba Rafid, Chemical Engineering, Batch-16; Ishtiaq Ahmed Munna, Mechanical Engineering, Batch-15; Samsul Arefin Rafat, Mechanical Engineering, Batch-17; Mizanur Rahman, Marine Engineering, Batch-16 and Mahmud Setu, Chemical Engineering, Batch-14
Three of the accused – Jishan, Rafid and Tanim – remain absconding.
Abrar, 21, a second-year student of electrical and electronic engineering, was beaten to death reportedly by then Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders at Sher-e-Bangla Hall of the university.
He was found dead on the staircase of the hall in the early hours of October 7 last year. His murder sparked a nationwide outcry.
On November 13, the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) submitted charge sheet before the court. On November 18, the court accepted the chargesheet against 25 accused.
On January 13 this year, the case was shifted to the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court from Dhaka Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court.
On March 12, the murder case was moved to Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 after Abrar’s parents met the Law Minister and urged to shift the case to a speedy trial tribunal.
Read Also: 25 indicted for Buet student Abrar Murder
A Narayanganj court on Saturday placed the eight suspended officials of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd, on two-day remand over the blasts at a mosque in Nayaranganj that left 33 people dead.
Naranyanganj Senior Judicial Magistrate Court Judge kawsar Alam passed the order after the investigation officer sought five-day remand for each of the accused.
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested the suspended officials, said CID’s acting DIG Moinul Hasan at the Police Superintendent’s office.
The arrestees are Fatullah zonal office manager engineer Mohammad Sirajul Islam, deputy manager Mahmudur Rahman Rabbi, assistant engineer SM Hasan Shahriar, assistant engineer Manik Mia, senior supervisor Md Manibur Rahman, senior development officer Md Aiyub Ali, helper Md Hanif Mia and Md Ismail Prothan.
Moinul Hasan said they were arrested from their respective areas in Fatullah.
Around 40 people were injured in the blasts at Baitul Salam Jame Mosque in Fatullah after Isha prayer on September 4.
Of them, 37 were taken to the Dhaka hospital in critical condition and 33 of them have died so far.
Gas was leaking from an abandoned pipeline in the basement which was damaged during the construction of Baitus Salam Mosque where a blast earlier this month killed 31 people, a Titas Gas probe committee said in its report Thursday.
Headed by Titas Gas General Manager Abdul Wahab, the committee submitted its report to the Energy and Mineral Resources Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.
“The mosque has two electricity lines — one legal and another illegal. During a power outage around Esha prayer, the muazzin switched to another line. There was a spark which caused the fire and air conditioner blast,” Wahab explained in the report submitted to Senior Secretary Anisur Rahman.
Wahab claimed that the committee did not find any evidence that a Titas employee had demanded Tk 50,000 in bribe to repair the damaged pipeline.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said the ministry will examine the report and identify the negligence of people responsible for the blast.
“Nobody will be spared if found guilty. We’re yet to go through the report. It’ll help us identify the persons responsible for their negligence,” he told reporters.
Hamid said the Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC) is investigating how the mosque managed to get an illegal connection.
He said the inquiry report will be made public through the ministry’s website.
Some 40 people suffered burns after air conditioners of the mosque exploded during Esha prayers in Fatullah, Narayanganj on September 4.
Locals said the incident took place when the devotees had just finished their prayers. An air conditioner went off and sparked a fire inside the mosque. Later, the remaining six ACs exploded, injuring 40 devotees.
Petrobangla Chairman ABM Abdul Fattah and Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd Managing Director Ali Mohammad Al Mamun were present during the submission of the report on Thursday.
The High Court (HC) on Thursday ordered the authorities concern to explain why the Ramna Park that was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic has not been reopened.
Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam’s bench issued the order after hearing a writ petition seeking reopening of the park.
The court also fixed September 24 for the next hearing.
Advocate Yusuf Ali Akanda stood for the writ petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Nur us Sadik represented the state.
The writ petition sought HC directive to reopen the park within 24 hours and a rule seeking explanation why the decision to keep it closed should not be declared illegal.
Advocate Ali said the park’s closure has curbed the people’s right to free movement. Many diabetes patients are facing health risks as they are unable to walk and do physical exercise in the park.