SC cancels HC verdict on Hasina's wealth statement

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Dhaka, Mar 14 (UNI) The Bangladesh Supreme Court has cancelled the High Court verdict that declared illegal issuance of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) notice asking former premier and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina to submit her wealth statement.

Following the SC decision the ACC notice issued on Hasina became valid.

Meanwhile, the SC yesterday also cancelled the HC order of staying operation of similar ACC notices to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, AL presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Bangladesh Janata Party Chairman Naziur Rahman Manju and ex-BRTC chairman Taimur Alam Khandaker.

The seven-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Ruhul Amin delivered the verdict following an appeal by ACC.

The same court also cancelled the stay on operation of ACC notices to Khaleda following the anti-graft watchdog's leave to appeal against the HC interim orders.

But Khaleda's counsel barrister Mahbub Uddin Khakon told The Daily Star though the SC cancelled stay on the notice, the rule on ACC in this regard was still pending with the HC.

''We might have an argument on different grounds and during the hearing in the High Court we will try to cover the points based on which Appellate Division has cancelled verdict on Hasina,'' Mr Khakon said.

He made the comment when asked whether yesterday's verdict would be applied to Khaleda's petition against ACC notice as the case pattern was similar to Hasina's case regarding the notice.

Mr Khakon also said the notice issued to Khaleda by the ACC was itself defective. He added they would argue on different grounds during hearing on the HC rule issued following Khaleda's petition challenging ACC's notice asking to submit her wealth statement.

But counsels for the state and Hasina said after yesterday's judgment the fate of all writ petitions challenging ACC notice would be the same.

UNI XC RJ KN1905

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