Monday, December 4, 2023

No possibility of withdrawal of cases against Tarique, Arafat: law minister

State minister for law Quamrul Islam on Wednesday brushed aside any possibility of withdrawal of any cases filed against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s two sons, Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman, during the military-backed interim government’s tenure.
‘There is no reason to think that the government will recommend withdrawal of cases against Tarique and Coco [Arafat] along with some Awami League leaders and workers,’ Quamrul, also the head of the national committee formed to review withdrawal of politically-motivated cases, told reporters after presiding over its third meeting at the secretariat.
‘No one should think that Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia should be treated in the same manner,’ he added.
He said the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-Jamaat government, in a similar manner, had recommended withdrawal of politically motivated cases only against its own members when it was in power.
The state minister said the committee has so far recommended withdrawal of 174 cases, all against Awami League’s leaders and activists, that were filed during the tenures of the BNP-Jamaat government (2001-06) and the military-controlled interim administration.
He admitted that no cases against opposition leaders have been recommended for withdrawal till now.
‘We have not received any cases against the opposition leaders from the district committee responsible for primary scrutiny…We will certainly consider withdrawal if we find that false cases have been filed against them,’ the head of the review committee said.
He, however, mentioned that the case against BNP leader and former law minister Moudud Ahmed, in connection with possession of liquor, seemed to him to be politically motivated so a he would recommend withdrawal of the case.
Wednesday’s meeting recommended withdrawal of 66 cases, of which 55 were under the Bangladesh Penal Code and the rest were filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission, out of the 162 cases reviewed that day. The committee recommended withdrawal of cases against several AL leaders, including Abdul Jalil, Kazi Zafarullah, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Shawkat Ali, Mohammad Nasim, Mozammel Hossain, Khandakar Asaduzzaman, Alauddin Nasim, AHM Mostafa Kamal and AK Azad Chowdhury.
The state minister said the list of cases recommended for withdrawal were yet to be sent to the court and the Anti-Corruption Commission.
The committee’s first meeting on June 10 recommended that 62 out of 113 cases reviewed, including 12 against Sheikh Hasina, should be quashed. On June 21 it approved withdrawal of 46 more cases.
The government has not recommended withdrawal of any cases filed against the opposition leaders and activities, including leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia, so far.
Khaleda Zia and her two sons filed applications on April 30 seeking withdrawal of all 20 cases lodged against them during the interim government’s rule.
The deadline for submitting applications for withdrawal was extended to July 12 last month.
The government on February 17 set up the inter-ministry committee to review the ‘politically motivated’ cases, especially those filed against politicians, during the regimes of the BNP-Jamaat government and the interim administration.
The committee has so far received 1,842 cases that have been recommended for withdrawal by the district committees from across the country. Seventy more cases have been selected for placing in the next meeting.
The BNP-Jamaat government had earlier set up a similar committee to review the politically-motivated cases and withdrawn 5,888 cases filed by the 1996-01 Awami League government against nearly 17,000 people, mostly political leaders and activists.

Courtesy of NewAgebd

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