Top opposition leaders get extension of stayStaff Correspondent
The High Court on Tuesday extended for three months the stay on the proceedings in the arson case against 46 top opposition alliance leaders.
The vacation bench of Justice Hasan Foez Siddique and Justice Mostafa Zaman Islam passed the order following a petition filed by their lawyer Md Bodruddoza Badal seeking extension of the stay order.
On August 6, the HC had stayed the proceedings for eight weeks.
The stay expires in the first week of October, the lawyer said.
The bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar had stayed the proceedings after BNP lawmaker and one of the accused in the case Mahbub Uddin Khokon filed a writ petition challenging the legality of the constituting the Speedy Trial Court-5 by the chief metropolitan magistrate of Dhaka..
It had also asked the government to explain in two weeks the legality of the notification issued on July 31 by Dhaka’s chief metropolitan magistrate constituting the Speedy Trial Court-5 for holding the trial of the case.
The petitioner’s lawyer argued that Section 8 of the Act stipulates that the government would constitute a Speedy Trial Court in each district or metropolitan area through a gazette notification and fix its jurisdiction.
But chief metropolitan magistrate Bikas Kumar Saha, by an order on May 9, constituted the Speedy Trial Court-7 with metropolitan magistrate Md Erfanullah and fixed its jurisdiction in violation of the law, argued the defence lawyer.
On July 31, the Speedy Trial Tribunal-5 indicted 46 opposition leaders, including BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on the charge of setting a bus on fire near the Prime Minister’s Office on April 29.
The law requires completion of trials in 30 working days.
On May 10, the Detective Branch submitted the charge-sheet against the 46 opposition leaders in the court of the chief metropolitan magistrate of Dhaka.
The 46 leaders also include BNP standing committee members MK Anwar, Mirza Abbas, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Sadeque Hossain and Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, Liberal Democratic Party’s president Oli Ahmed, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s acting amir Mokbul Hossain, Bangladesh Jatiya Party’s president Andaleeve Rahman Partha and BNP leaders Amanullah Aman, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Nazimuddin Alam and Habibunnabi Khan Sohel, all of whom are now on bail.
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