Treatment Abroad: She has to go back to jail to seek permission

Anisul Haq, Law Minister, stated that Khaleda Zia, BNP Chairperson, must be returned to jail in order to request release and permission to receive treatment abroad. However the law ministry had earlier suggested that her sentence could be suspended by six more months.

"Khaleda Zia had requested release under section 401[1] of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). She had not requested permission to travel abroad for treatment in her original application. After her prayer was granted, the government has already disposed of her application. This decision cannot be changed by law.

After attending a function organized by the Bangladesh Law Commission in the capital, the law minister stated that she must first go to jail to obtain permission to travel abroad for treatment.

The Daily Star was informed by the law minister on Saturday night that he had expressed his support for Khaleda's six-month extension to his suspension of Khaleda’s sentence.

However, the minister did not express any opinion regarding Khaleda Zia’s appeal to be treated abroad.

Anisul Huq stated that the law ministry's September 7 opinion was not sent to the Prime Minister's Office because the home minister and a senior security service division secretary are currently abroad.

After the approval of the home minister, the application will be sent by he to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He informed this correspondent on September 7th that the application had been submitted for Khaleda Zia to suspend her sentence further as her physical condition was worsening and she needed to travel abroad for treatment.

This application is identical to the previous one, which was based on which she was released from jail multiple times under section 40(1) CrPC.

After suspending her sentence, the government released Khaleda zia from jail on March 25, 2013.

Section 401(1) of CrPC states: "When any person is sentenced to punishment, the Government can at any time, without conditions or upon conditions that the person sentenced accepts suspend the execution or remit any or all of the punishment to whom he/she was sentenced."

Anisul Huq stated that Khaleda Zia must return to prison if she wishes to apply for permission to travel abroad for treatment on August 28th. She said she had previously applied for her release, but not for permission.

Khaleda was released from jail after her sentence was extended twice. Separate notifications were issued by the government to that effect. According to the notifications, Khaleda would receive treatment at home and cannot travel abroad during this time.

Khaleda was sentenced to five year imprisonment in Dhaka by a special court for the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. After dismissing her appeal, the High Court increased her sentence to 10 years on October 30, 2017.

Another special court in Dhaka convicted the former prime minister in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case, which was held on October 29, 2018. The court sentenced her to seven years of rigorous imprisonment.


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