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Khaleda challenges govt move to shift trial court

BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has challenged the legality of the government notification to shift her trial court to the central jail in Keraniganj from the now-defunct one in Old Dhaka.

She filed a writ petition with the High Court regarding this on Sunday.

A recent gazette notification issued by the law ministry stated that Khaleda would be tried in 17 cases, including the Niko graft one, at a special court inside the Keraniganj jail instead of a Dhaka court.

Immediately after the notification, leaders of the BNP reacted to it, saying they would move to the court about this.

On May 21, BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed said, “We visited Keraniganj Jail yesterday (Monday) and found no atmosphere and necessary facilities there to run the court and ensure justice.”

Speaking at a human-chain programme, he further said, “We think, setting up such a court is contrary to the constitution. The constitutional right of a citizen to have justice will be violated through it.

“We’ll very soon challenge at the Supreme Court the legality of setting up a court in Keraniganj jail.”

Citing the petition, local media reports say that Khaleda asked the court to stay the notification issued by the law ministry.

One of her lawyers, Barrister Kayser Kamal said the issuance of the gazette transferring the court venue is contradictory to the relevant provision of the constitution and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

He said the court will hold hearing on the petition on Monday.

Meanwhile, the trial court is scheduled to hold hearing on the Niko graft case against Khaleda on May 30.

Khaleda has been undergoing treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) since April 1.

The former prime minister landed in jail on February 8 last year after she was given a five years of imprisonment by a Dhaka court in the Zia Orphanage Trust Corruption case.

The High Court on October 30 last year doubled her jail term to 10 years in this case.

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