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Absent judge causes EPR bail ruling to be deferred PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Staff Correspondent

The Appellate Division deferred its ruling Monday on the government appeal challenging a High Court verdict that last year granted bail in a case filed under emergency powers rules.

A full seven-member bench of the Supreme Court Appellate Division, headed by chief justice Md Ruhul Amin, was scheduled to give a judgement Monday but proceedings were deferred as justice Hassan Amin was absent due to illness.

Attorney general barrister Fida M Kamal told that one of the members of the appellate bench was on sick leave, so there could be no ruling on Monday.

The government's appeal is based on Section 19 (Gha) of the Emergency Powers Ordinance, which says no accused can appeal for bail in any court or tribunal, including the High Court, while investigation in a case filed under EPR is ongoing.

The second amendment to the ordinance, made in March 2007, imposed strict and stringent conditions regarding bail under EPR cases.

On Mar 29 last year, Khulna oil trader Maijuddin Shikder appealed to the High Court for bail in a case filed under EPR accusing him of selling adulterated oil.

On Apr 22, a High Court bench of justices Nazrul Islam Chowdhury and SM Emdadul Haque granted Maijuddin bail. On May 24 last year, the Appellate Division suspended the High Court verdict, but did not stay Maijuddin's bail order.

Maijuddin's lawyer Abdul Matin Khasru told bdnews24 Monday that the Appellate Division was expected to deliver its ruling in a couple of days.

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