The High Court on March 12 granted four-month bail to BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, in which the former prime minister has been sentenced to five-year imprisonment.
Court officials said a four-member bench of the Supreme Court's Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain chose to grant Zia bail, upholding a previous high court order.
The High Court had on the 12th of March granted an interim bail to Zia.
Lawyers from both sides said the ruling does not necessarily mean Zia will be released from jail because she's been arrested in connection with three other cases. The apex court directed the High Court to hear her petition and positively dispose of it by the end of July.
"We expect to secure her bail in the pending cases as well", Zias lawyer Joynal Abedin said.
Zia's lawyer Khandakar Mahbub Hossain told The Daily Star that the 72-year-old chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party can not be released from jail despite Wednesday's judgment, as she has been arrested in three other cases.
Arguing on behalf of Zia, her lawyer had pleaded for the former premiers bail on the ground of her ill health and old age. It also sentenced other five accused, including Khaleda's elder son and BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, to 10-year imprisonment each.
The ACC had filed the case with Ramna Police Station in July 2008, accusing the six of misappropriating over Tk 2.1 crore that came from a foreign bank as grants for orphans.
A four-member bench, led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, passed the order on Wednesday after rejecting appeals filed by the state and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
In the petitions, Khaleda's lawyer Sanaullah Mia mentioned that his client had earlier filed writ petitions with the HC seeking quashing of the case proceedings. The other case was filed with a Dhaka court on charge of making seditious comments about the freedom fighters and the Liberation War martyrs.