Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Graft case against Nizami-Mujaheed stays

The High Court has rejected the petition of Jamaat-e-Islami chief Matiur Rahman Nizami and its secretary general Ali Ahsan Mujaheed to dismiss Barapukuria coalmine corruption case filed against them.

The bench of justices Anwarul Haque and Mohammad Mujibur Rahman Miah passed the order on Wednesday.

Counsel of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) M A Aziz Khan told reporters that following the High Court verdict, there was no legal obstruction in taking forward the case against Nizami and Mujaheed.

Barrister Abdur Razzak argued for the Jamaat leaders during the hearing. He told reporters after the verdict that they would appeal against the High Court judgement.

The ACC filed the Barapukuria graft case at Shahbagh Police Station in the city on Feb 26, 2008 against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, 10 former powerful ministers of her cabinet and five others for causing a loss of Tk 1.59 billion to the national exchequer by awarding Barapukuria coalmine deal to the highest bidder instead of the lowest one.

The consortium of China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) was awarded the contract.

The charge sheet was submitted on Oct 5 the same year.

Later, the Nizami-Mujaheed duo separately appealed to the HC to cancel the case. The High Court granted them bail on Nov 12, 2008 and issued two rules upon the government and ACC to explain why the proceedings against the Jamaat chief and its secretary general should not be quashed.

The court also stayed the proceedings against them and granted them bail in this case the same day.

The ACC on Jan 18, 2009 filed two leave-to-appeal petitions with the SC against the HC orders.

The Supreme Court on Nov 24 directed the High Court to dispose of the rules by Dec 15 issued over the proceedings against the two top Jamaat leaders in the coalmine corruption case.