|Begum Khaleda Zia|
Hearing on the leave-to-appeal of BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia regarding her cantonment house was adjourned on November 10 till November 29.
The three-member bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque passed the order after holding hearing on it for the first day.
Following a prayer of Khaleda Zia's counsel veteran lawyer Justice TH Khan to set further hearing on it in January, the apex court fixed the date.
Khaleda Zia's lawyers filed the petition on Monday seeking permission to stay a HC judgment and to file a regular appeal against it that rejected her Writ petition filed challenging a government notice that asked her to vacate the cantonment house.
After hearing yesterday, TH Khan told journalists, "The hearing was adjourned till November 29. Effectiveness of the High Court judgment will keep stayed until the date, even though the Appellate Division did not pass specific stay order on it."
However, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said, "The Appellate Division did not pass any stay order on the High Court verdict." Lawyers of Khaleda Zia did not pray for a stay order of the court today (Wednesday), he added.
The law would run on its own speed and the government would decide in this regard, the AG said.
During the hearing, TH Khan said that though it is supposed to give 60 days time in such cases, the HC gave Khaleda Zia only 30 days to vacate her cantonment house, staining her constitutional right.
Saying that one of the senior lawyers in this case is now abroad and I am also feeling sickish, TH Khan prayed to set a date in January for further hearing on it.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam placed his arguments for holding hearing on it immediately.
Earlier on Tuesday, Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice Md Muzammel Hossain sent the petition to the full bench and set Wednesday for hearing on it. It did not stay the judgment of the HC.
A bench of the HC comprising Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana and Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif passed the judgment regarding the cantonment residence on October 13.
The court in its judgment directed the government to give Khaleda Zia one month time to vacate her residence.
The house was leased to Khaleda Zia in 1982 by then government after assassination of her husband and former president Ziaur Rahman.
On April 8, 2009, the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina cancelled the lease. Subsequently, the she was served a notice to vacate her residence.
On May 3 of the year, Khaleda Zia filed the Writ petition with the HC challenging the notice.
Additional members of the law enforcing agencies were also deployed yesterday, tightening security in the apex court premises.
In every points including three main entrances of the SC, the law enforcers strictly searched the journalists, law practices, justice seekers, the court employees and others concerned.
The journalists were prevented to enter the courtroom of the Appellate Division. Later, they arranged a pen-abstention keeping their pens and pads on the ground at the corridor between the Court building and Supreme Court Bar Association building.