Bangladeshi court orders sedition probe against Khaleda Zia
Dhaka : A Bangladeshi court ordered probe against former Prime Minister and opposition leader Khaleda Zia over her alleged slanderous comments in context of martyrs related to 1971 liberation war against Pakistan, and the court contemplated whether a sedition charge could be put up on the leader. The court statement said — The metropolitan magistrate court asked police to investigate into the allegation under section 123 (A) of the Penal Code after obtaining required government clearance. The court orders came in, following a brief hearing on the charges against the 70-year-old ex-PM brought out by a lawyer for her slanderous comments about the martyrs of the liberation war in which three million people were sacrificed.
According to the rulebook, Section 123 (A) suggests that the accused would be subject to a punishment in the lines of rigorous imprisonment which could extend to ten years, Additionally, the accused would be slapped a fine for condemnation of the creation of the State (Bangladesh) and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty. Legal experts clarified from the Bangladesh representation that the government clearance was a pre-requisite for investigating or trying anyone under the section which is generally known as sedition charge.
This act was a follow-up to a legal notice which Zia had received earlier. Another lawyer last week had served Zia a legal notice asking her to apologize to the nation within seven days or face legal consequences.The issue which raked up these legalities referred to her speaking at a discussion on December 21, where Zia expressed doubts about the casualty figures of 1971 and said that Bangladesh’s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had actually wanted to be undivided Pakistan’s Prime Minister rather than lead the country to independence.In her exact words — There are controversies over how many were martyred in the liberation war. There are also many books and documents on the controversies.
Zia’s party (BNP) has been a crucial ally of fundamentalist Jamaat-e- Islami, which had stood opposed to Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan.