Bangladesh HC stays ACC notice on Khaleda's wealth report

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Dhaka, Nov 26 (UNI) The Bangladesh High Court has stayed the operation of the Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) notice asking Bangladesh Nationalist party chairperson and detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia to submit her wealth statement.

The court also asked the commission and the home secretary to explain in eight weeks why the notice issued on Ms Khaleda Zia wealth statement should not be declared illegal, the New Age reported today.

The High Court bench of Justices Shah Abu Nayeem Mominur Rahman and Zubayer Rahman Chowdhury passed the order yesterday after hearing a writ petition filed by the BNP chairperson.

Moving the writ petition, Khaleda's counsel Rafique-ul Huq told the court that the ACC issued the notice on the former prime minister on July 17 in violation of law.

The commission, after conducting preliminary inquiries, has to be satisfied that the person concerned possesses wealth beyond his or her known sources of income before asking the person to submit wealth report, Khaleda's counsel Rafique-ul Huq said referring to the ACC Act 2004 and the ACC Rules 2007.

''But no such inquiry was conducted before notifying Khaleda Zia,'' he pointed out.

Ms Khaleda Zia, who submitted her wealth report to the commission on August 6, challenged the notice on November 22, a day after the same bench had declared illegal and void, on the same ground, the commission's notice issued to another former prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

The commission, however, filed a petition before the Appellate Division seeking stay of the High Court judgement that made its notice to Ms Hasina inoperative.

The ACC will also appeal against the High Court's order staying the operation of its notice issued to Khaleda.

''We will go to the Appellate Division against the High Court order,'' chairman of the commission, Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury, told reporters yesterday.

''We asked for her [Khaleda] wealth statement and she has already submitted it , It is not clear to us why she is challenging the notice now,'' he said adding that the commission would discuss the issue with its lawyers to decide its next course of action.

UNI

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