The writ, directed to the Information Secretary, aimed to instruct measures preventing Tarique Rahman’s statements from being published, broadcasted, screened, or reproduced on different media platforms.
In a recent development, the High Court has issued a directive to Tarique Rahman, the Acting Chairman of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), to submit a revised application correcting his London address. This instruction comes in relation to his request to suspend the broadcasting of his speech. The directive was issued by Justice Md Khasruzzaman and Justice Khairul Alam on Thursday.
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The central point of the writ, addressed to the Information Secretary, was to seek instructions for necessary measures to prevent the publication, broadcasting, screening, or reproduction of any statement made by Tarique Rahman across various media platforms. The rationale behind this move was grounded in the claim that the statements issued by Rahman were deemed illegal and contradictory to the constitutional provisions. Additionally, given his status as a fugitive convict, the plea argued that his speeches should not be disseminated to the public.
The legal document further questioned why the defendants had not been instructed to take the requisite actions to prohibit the broadcasting and publishing of Tarique Rahman’s speeches.
Cases and convictions
This recent court ruling adds another layer to Tarique Rahman’s legal entanglements. He is currently facing accusations in 15 separate cases, the majority of which were filed during the caretaker government’s rule in 2007 and 2008.
On November 1 of the previous year, the court issued arrest warrants for Tarique Rahman and another individual after accepting the charges leveled against them. Moreover, on June 26 of the same year, the High Court labeled Tarique as a “fugitive” and rejected his writ petitions that aimed to challenge the filing of a graft case against him. The court also lifted the stay order on the case.
This latest development follows a series of prior legal setbacks for Tarique Rahman. In 2013, he was initially acquitted in a money laundering case, but a successful appeal by the state led to his eventual sentencing to seven years in prison. Subsequently, in February 2018, he received a ten-year jail term in connection with the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case, which also resulted in a concurrent five-year sentence for his mother, Khaleda Zia.
Furthermore, Tarique Rahman was sentenced to life imprisonment on October 21, 2018, for his alleged involvement in orchestrating a grievous grenade attack on a rally led by the then-opposition leader Sheikh Hasina on August 21, 2004. This verdict resulted in multiple life sentences and 20 years of imprisonment under various sections of the two murder cases and the Explosives Act.
Adding to his legal troubles, on February 4, 2021, Tarique was handed a two-year prison sentence in a defamation case filed in Narail. The case revolved around derogatory remarks he made about the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. A fine of Tk10,000 was imposed on him as well, with the possibility of an additional six months in prison if the fine went unpaid.
Amid these various legal entanglements, Tarique Rahman still faces several pending cases related to incidents that transpired during the 2001-06 period, when his mother served as the Prime Minister. In 2007, he was arrested as part of a crackdown on corruption by the military-backed caretaker government. After securing bail from the High Court in 2008, Tarique relocated to the UK, where he has since been managing the BNP from abroad.
In conclusion, the recent directive from the High Court for Tarique Rahman to rectify his London address in connection with his request to halt the broadcasting of his speech highlights the ongoing legal battles faced by the BNP Acting Chairman. These battles underscore a complex web of legal proceedings that span years and involve a multitude of accusations and convictions. The court’s decision also brings to light the intricacies of legal processes in addressing cases involving high-profile individuals in the realm of politics.