Hasina peititon against trial proceedings
Thursday, 29 May 2008

Ruling likely any day


The High Court is likely to deliver a ruling Thursday on a writ petition filed by Sheikh Hasina challenging the proceeding of the barge-mounted power plant case against her, a lawyer said Wednesday.

The High Court bench of justices MA Rashid and Md Ashfaqul Islam concluded their hearing of the petition Wednesday but did not fix a date for their ruling, said Hasina's counsel Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Tapash.

"The verdict may be delivered Thursday."

The detained former prime minister filed the petition on May 11 challenging the proceedings on the grounds that the case had not been disposed of within 60 days as prescribed by law.

The High Court had earlier ordered the government, Anticorruption Commission and Dhaka Special Judge's Court -1 to explain why the delay, and why continued proceedings of the case should not be declared illegal, but did not stay the trial.

The case is currently under trial at the Special Judge's Court-1, set up on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises.

According to law, trial of a case should be normally completed within 60 days of the court taking the charges into cognisance.

The court accepted the charge sheet on Jan 10, while charge framing against Hasina and other accused in the case was concluded on May 18.

The Anticorruption Commission filed the case on Sept 2 last year charging Hasina and others with taking bribes in return for allowing installation of three barge-mounted power plants in Haripur, Shikalbaha and Khulna during her term as prime minister.

The case was brought under emergency powers rules on Sept 20 last year. Joint forces arrested Hasina on July 16 last year and she was shown arrested in the case on Sept 19.

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