The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Monday set aside the judgments of the High Court Division that acquitted former BNP lawmaker Hafiz Ibrahim and three others in two separate corruption cases.
The SC asked an HC bench led by Justice Md Ruhul Quddus to rehear the appeal cases filed by the convicts challenging the lower court verdicts that had convicted and sentenced them in the cases.
The three other convicts are Ibrahim's wife Mafruza Sultana, former customs official Jahurul Haque and his wife Afia Haque.
A four-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha passed the orders after hearing two separate appeals by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) challenging the acquittal.
Other three judges of the bench are -- Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana, Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Hasan Foez Siddique.
The apex court has so far scrapped acquittal of 12 graft convicts and sent their appeals to the HC for rehearing. The convicts include Relief and Disaster Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, BNP leaders and former state ministers Iqbal Hasan Mahmood Tuku and Mir Mohammad Nasiruddin and his son Mir Helal Uddin, and independent lawmaker Haji Mohammad Selim and BNP leader Amanullah Aman.
The SC observed that the HC verdicts were not correct, as it did not consider the evidence and the corruption allegations against the convicts, ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said.
Hafiz and his wife, as well as Jahurul and his wife would remain on bail until the HC disposes of the appeals, he said, adding that the HC would now examine whether the lower courts had delivered the proper judgments.
A special court on June 19, 2008 sentenced Hafiz Ibrahim to 13 years' rigorous imprisonment for illegally amassing wealth and concealing information on his assets in the wealth statement submitted to the ACC.
The court also sentenced Hafiz's wife Mafruza Sultana to three years' rigorous imprisonment for aiding and abetting her husband in accumulating illegal wealth.
Another special court on November 13, 2008 had sentenced Jahurul Haque to 13 years' rigorous imprisonment for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information on his assets.
It also sentenced his wife Afia to three years' rigorous imprisonment for aiding and abetting her husband in accumulating illegal wealth.
Following an appeal filed by Hafiz, the HC on October 17, 2011 acquitted Hafiz and his wife of the corruption charges.