a year ago

Haji Salim appeals challenging HC verdict

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Haji Mohammad Salim, a ruling party lawmaker from Dhaka-7 constituency, filed appeal petition with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court challenging the High Court verdict that upheld his conviction and 10 years jail sentence in a corruption case.

Lawyer Sayeed Ahmed Raza, a counsel for Haji Salim, submitted the appeal petition to the office concerned of the Appellate Division on Tuesday on behalf of his client in which Salim also sought bail in the case.

Haji Salim was taken to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on May 23 for treatment, a day after he was sent to jail in a corruption case.

Salim, who was sentenced for 10 years in the corruption case filed in 2008, surrendered before a Dhaka court on May 22 and sought bail. Rejecting his bail petition, the court sent him to Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj.

The High Court on March 9 in 2021 upheld 10 years' imprisonment given to Haji Salim in the case filed on charge of possessing wealth worth Tk 269.2 million beyond his known source of income. The court also upheld the fine of Tk 1.0 million imposed by the lower court. 

However, the ruling party man was acquitted of three years' imprisonment given by a special court on charge of concealing information of his assets in the same case.

The High Court bench of Justice Md Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Justice AKM Zahirul Huq delivered the verdict after holding hearing on an appeal petition filed by Haji Salim against the special court verdict. The full text of the verdict was released on February 10 in 2022.

Haji Salim has been asked to surrender to the lower court within 30 days of receiving a copy of the High Court's verdict. The High Court has asked the special court to issue an arrest warrant against him if he does not surrender within this period.

The court also acquitted Salim's wife Gulshan Ara Begum as she died in November 2020 during the pendency of her appeal against her three years jail term given by the same special court. Gulshan Ara was sentenced for abetting and aiding Salim in possessing the illegal properties he acquired since 1991.

Sources said the full text of the verdict was sent to the trial court on April 25 this year. And Haji Salim had time 30 days in his hand after April 25. 

The ACC on October 24, 2007 filed the case with the Lalbagh Police Station against Haji Salim on charge of possessing wealth worth Tk 269.2 million beyond his known source of income. The trial court on April 27, 2008 sentenced Haji Salim to 13 years' imprisonment in two charges in the case.

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