The High Court has rejected an appeal by BNP legislator Harun-ur Rashid Harun to set aside a five-year jail sentence awarded by a lower court for abusing duty-free import facilities.
The single bench of Justice Md Selim in its order on Thursday, however, reduced the sentence to the time already served in jail. In this case it is 16 months.
The same is applicable to co-accused businessman Enayetur Rahman and car dealer Ishtiaq Sadeq.
This ruling meant that the three, out on bail, would not return to prison.
Harun's lawyer Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon said that Harun need not vacate his parliament seat following the order, though unhappy over dismissal of the appeal against jail sentence.
"We are disappointed by this order," said Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon. He said they will challenge the ruling before the Appellate Division..
He also said MP Harun has been behind the bars for a total of 16 months. The High Court has sentenced him to the time already spent in jail. However, according to the constitution, to vacate a seat of parliament, one has to be imprisoned for at least two years, he argued.
On the other hand, ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said that the judgment of the Trial Court was upheld in the order by the High Court today.
However, he claimed that Harun will lose his parliament seat as per the judgment.
According to the case, Harun imported a duty-free vehicle Hammer in 2005 using MP quota. He later broke the promise made in a non-judicial stamp of Tk 150 and sold the car to businessman Enayetur Rahman Bappi through Sky Auto’s owner Ishtiaq Sadeq, evading Tk 87.71 customs duty.
Later, a case was filed against MP Harun and two others at Tejgaon Police Station on March 17, 2007.
In July, 2007, ACC Assistant Director Monayem Hossain after investigation submitted a charge-sheet before the court against the trio.
October 21 in 2019, Dhaka Special Judge Court-4 sentenced MP Harun to five-year imprisonment. The court fined him Tk 50 lakh, in default, to suffer six months more imprisonment.
The court also sentenced Managing Director of a private TV channel Enayetur Rahman Bappi to two years jail with Tk one lakh fine while businessman Ishtiaq Sadeq, to three years imprisonment with Tk 40 lakh fine.
Harun and three others appealed against the sentence before the High Court on October 26 of that year.