BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia on November 23 filed a contempt of court petition against the government and the cantonment board for evicting her from the cantonment house before disposing of the case pending with the Supreme Court regarding it.
The Chamber Judge Surandra Kumar Sinha accepting the petition sent it to the full bench of the Appellate Division of the SC and fixed November 29 for hearing on it, Khaleda Zia's lawyer Mahbub Uddin Khokon said.
The date is also remain set for hearing on a leave-to-appeal of Khaleda Zia regarding that house at the full bench of the Appellate Division.
However, Khaleda Zia, former Prime Minister and leader of the opposition, also filed a statuesque petition with the Chamber Judge seeking direction of the apex court to keep the house's structure unchanged until the pending case is disposed of.
Khaleda Zia also sought the court's direction to give back the cantonment house, from where she was evicted on November 13.
Hearing on the statuesque petition is also likely to be held on the same day, said concerned lawyers.
Secretary to the Defense Ministry Khandker Asaduzzaman, Cabinet Secretary Md Abdul Aziz, Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder, Director of the Military Lands and Cantonments Directorate Mortuza Ahmed, its Deputy Director Shafiqul Ahmed, Military Estate officer SM Emdadul Haque, Chairman of the Cantonment Board Brig Gen Tanvir Hasan Majumder and ISPR Chief Shahinul Islam have been made respondents in the contempt petition.
During initial hearing on the petition, Khaleda Zia's lawyer Barrister Moudud Ahmed and government lawyer Additional Attorney General MK Rahman placed their submissions.
Barrister Moudud told the court that hearing of leave to appeal of Khaleda Zia on the house was ongoing in the apex court. So, the government step that evicted Khaleda Zia from her house in the meantime are synonymous to contempt of court.
Image and dignity of the Supreme Court was tarnished with the government step evicting Khaleda Zia before disposing of the case pending in the apex court; the step was directly interference of the government on the authority and independency of the SC, said Moudud Ahmed.
In the contempt petition, Khaleda Zia pointed out that members of the law enforcing agencies reached her residence at Shaheed Mainul Road in Dhaka Cantonment at about 7:00 am on November 13 and forcibly evicted her with single cloth from the residence.
Khaleda Zia also refuted the ISPR statement that she left her residence willingly. She said the statement was given to swindle the people.
BNP Chairperson said she was harassed during the eviction on the day.
Khaleda Zia was evicted from her cantonment house on November 13 a day after of expiring a 30-day period that a HC judgment directed the government to allow Khaleda Zia to vacate the residence.
The HC in its judgment, delivered on October 13, also rejected a Writ petition filed by Khaleda Zia challenging a government notice that asked her to vacate the house in the last year.
On November 8, Khaleda Zia filed the leave-to-appeal with the Appellate Division challenging the HC judgment.
On November 10, the three-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque after holding hearing on it for the first day adjourned the hearing till November 29.
After the hearing, Khaleda Zia's counsel Justice TH Khan told journalists, "The court adjourned the hearing till November 29. Effectiveness of the HC judgment will be kept stayed till the date, even though the Appellate Division did not pass stay order on it."
However, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam on the day said, the apex court didn't stay on the HC judgment, the law would take its own course and the government would decide in this regard.
On the following day, AG also said, "Khaleda Zia will commit contempt of court, if she will not vacate the residence after November 12, when the 30-day period will expire."