Bangladesh Jatiotabadi Ainjibi Forum (BJAF), a body of pro-BNP lawyers, today demanded release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail for treatment in the country or abroad of her own choice.
The lawyers also demanded suspension of the BNP chief's jail sentence under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
“As per Section 401(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the government has the power to suspend any punishment of a person without any condition. We hope that the government will give up vindictiveness and release Khaleda Zia for her treatment. Government’s goodwill is necessary for this,” said BJAF’s Convener Khandker Mahbub Hossain.
He made the demand at a press conference organised by the BJAF at the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) auditorium in the city.
Section 401(1) of the CrPC states, “When any person has been sentenced to punishment for an offence, the Government may at any time without conditions or upon any conditions which the person sentenced excepts, suspend the execution of his sentence or remit the whole or any part of the punishment to which he/she has been sentenced”.
Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain said Khaleda Zia has been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in Zia Charitable Trust corruption case and she has been kept in prison for nearly two years.
“As an old and sick woman she (Khaleda) deserves bail under the existing law. But we are unfortunate as the apex court of the country has rejected her bail petition. Therefore, we feel that people’s faith on the judiciary has been damaged,” he said.
Khandker Mahbub, a vice chairman of BNP, said Khaleda Zia needs advanced treatment as per recommendation from a medical board of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, but no step has been taken to this effect yet.
He also announced to stage demonstration at all the bar premises across the county on January 13 demanding the release and proper treatment of Khaleda Zia.
BJAF leaders Zainul Abedin, AJ Mohammad Ali and Ruhul Quddus Kazal, among others, were present at the press conference.