BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has failed to secure permission from the Supreme Court to start an appeal against the Gatco graft case.
The top court did not grant her ‘leave to appeal’ which means there are no further legal obstacles to proceeding with the case, the Anti-Corruption Commission or ACC said on Monday.
Indictment hearings in the case are currently being held at a Dhaka trial court.
The High Court previously dismissed a petition by Khaleda to scrap the case. She requested a leave to appeal against the decision at the Supreme Court.
A three-member appellate bench led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha rejected the leave to appeal after a hearing on Monday.
The former prime minister is accused of causing a loss of Tk 145.63 million to the state exchequer by awarding a container-handling job at Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Dhaka and at Chittagong Port to Gatco.
The case also accused Khaleda’s younger son Arafat Rahman Coco, who died last year.
The ACC filed the case on Sep 2, 2007 during the military-installed caretaker regime and the next day the BNP chief and Coco were arrested from their Dhaka Cantonment home.
The case was included under the Emergency Rule Act on Sep 18 the same year.
On Sep 27, 2007, Khaleda and Coco filed two petitions with the High Court, challenging the legality of including the case under the Emergency Rule Act and seeking a stay order on the trial’s proceedings.
Three days later, the High Court stayed the proceedings and issued a rule asking why the case’s inclusion under the Act should not be declared illegal.
The Appellate Division later scrapped the stay order.
In 2008, Khaleda filed another petition challenging the legality of the case filed under the ACC Act, following which the High Court once again stayed the case proceedings.
After the ACC’s recent initiative to revive the case, the High Court resumed hearing and lifted the freeze in the final order on Aug 5 last year.
It also ordered Khaleda to surrender before the trial court within two months after receiving the full verdict, which was published on Feb 15 this year. She appeared before court on Apr 5 and secured bail.