The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has granted bail to convicted Dhaka-7 MP and Awami League leader Haji Mohammad Salim in a corruption case.
A five-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, granted bail to Salim on Tuesday (December 6) after hearing a leave-to-appeal petition filed by him.
The top court’s order paved the way for Haji Salim’s release from jail. The lawmaker will stay out on bail until the disposal of his appeal, according to his lawyer.
Senior lawyer Advocate Syed Ahmed Raza appeared for the petitioner in the court while Advocate M Khurshid Alam Khan appeared for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
With this bail order, there is no bar for Haji Salim to walk out of jail, said Advocate Ahmed Raza.
The ACC filed the case against Haji Salim during the military-backed caretaker government in 2007 on charges of having assets beyond his means and concealing income information.
On April 27 in 2008, a Dhaka court jailed him for 13 years and fined him Tk 20 lakh on charges of gaining wealth from unknown sources and three years for hiding the information. The court also sentenced his wife Gulshan Ara Begum to three years in jail on charges of abetting her husband's crimes.
Haji Salim moved the High Court challenging the verdict. After hearing Salim and Gulshan’s pleas against the verdict, the High Court acquitted them of the charges in 2011.
In 2011, the court overturned his sentence but ACC later appealed against the lower court verdict. Later, the Appellate Division asked the High Court to re-hear the petition.
On March 9 last year, the HC bench of Justice Md Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Justice AKM Zahirul Huq upheld the lower court order, sentencing Salim to 10 years in jail after hearing a petition filed by ACC.
On February 10 this year, the HC released the full text of the verdict, asking Salim to surrender to a trial court concerned in 30 days. Salim surrendered before a Dhaka court on May 22. Later that day, a Dhaka court sent him to jail rejecting his bail petition.