SC orders fresh HC hearing of appeals
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld its previous orders scrapping the High Court verdicts that acquitted eight people, mostly BNP leaders, in six graft cases filed against them during the military-backed caretaker government rule from 2007-08.
The apex court also affirmed its directives to the HC to hold fresh hearings on the appeals filed by the accused.
The eight challenged the lower court judgments that handed them jail terms of between three and 13 years.
The accused are former BNP minister Nazmul Huda and his wife Sigma Huda, former BNP state ministers Iqbal Hasan Mahmood Tuku, Aman Ullah Aman and Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin, Aman's wife Sabera Aman, Nasir's son Mir Helal Uddin and former BNP lawmaker Monjurul Ahsan Munshi.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC, headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, came up with the orders after hearing separate petitions moved by the accused seeking review of its earlier orders.
The Anti-Corruption Commission had filed the corruption cases against the eight. Its lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said the jail sentences of the accused are under challenge as the apex court has asked the HC to hold fresh hearings on their appeals.
The HC will now decide whether the lower courts had delivered the verdicts in the cases rightly. The accused will be on bail until the HC disposed of the appeals, Khurshid told The Daily Star.
NAZMUL HUDA AND WIFE
The ACC on March 21, 2007 had filed the case against Nazmul Huda and his wife Sigma Huda with Dhanmondi Police Station on charges of taking Tk 2.40 crore from a businessman in favour of their weekly newspaper Khoborer Ontorale.
A special court on August 17, 2007 sentenced Nazmul to seven years imprisonment and his wife to three years.
Following their appeal, the HC on March 20, 2011 acquitted the couple of the corruption charges.
The Appellate Division on December 1, 2014 scrapped the acquittal and asked the HC to hold a fresh hearing on their appeal.
AMAN ULLAH AMAN AND WIFE
A special court on June 21, 2007 had sentenced Aman Ullah Aman to 13 years imprisonment for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information in his wealth statement.
His wife Sabera was also sentenced to three years imprisonment by the same court as she was found guilty of abetting the offence.
Following an appeal filed by the couple, the HC on August 16, 2010 acquitted them of the graft charges.
The SC on May 26, 2014 cancelled the HC verdict and asked it to hold a fresh hearing on the appeal.
IQBAL HASAN MAHMOOD TUKU
The anti-graft watchdog on March 21, 2007 had filed the case with Mohammadpur Police Station, accusing Iqbal Hasan Mahmood Tuku of illegally amassing wealth worth Tk 2.57 crore and concealing information in his wealth statement.
A special court on November 15, 2007 handed Tuku a nine-year jail term in the case.
Following his appeal, the HC on June 16, 2011 acquitted the BNP leader of the corruption charges.
The SC on January 27, 2014 cancelled the HC verdict and asked it to hold a fresh hearing on his appeal.
MIR NASIR AND SON
The SC on July 3, 2014 had scrapped two HC verdicts that acquitted Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin and his son Mir Helal Uddin in two corruption cases.
The apex court also asked the HC to hold fresh hearings on the appeals filed by the accused.
A lower court in July, 2007 had sentenced Nasiruddin to 13 years imprisonment and Helal to three years.
Mir Nasir was found guilty of illegally accumulating wealth worth around Tk 28 crore and concealing information in his wealth statement, while his son was convicted of aiding his father in protecting their property.
Following their appeals, the HC in August 2010 scrapped their jail sentences.
MONJURUL AHSAN MUNSHI
A special court in 2007 had sentenced former BNP lawmaker Monjurul Ahsan Munshi to 13 years imprisonment for illegally accumulating wealth worth Tk 5.37 crore.
The HC acquitted him of the charges following his appeal. The SC later cancelled his acquittal and asked the HC to hold a fresh hearing on his appeal.