The High Court has released the full judgment on the conviction of Nazmul Huda, jeopardising his hopes of running for office in the parliamentary elections. The bench of Justice Bhabani Prasad Singha and Justice Mustafa Zaman Islam reduced the sentence of Huda from seven to four years in jail on Nov 8 last year. The court also ordered him to surrender in the trial court for serving the remainder of his jail term within 45 days from the date the trial court gets a copy of the full verdict.
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Jan 2 this year rejected his plea seeking permission to challenge the High Court verdict.
The lawyer-politician, a former BNP leader, has sought the Awami Leagues ticket for Dhaka-17 seat after joining the Grand Alliance led by the ruling party.
On Sunday, the full verdict of the High Court on his conviction in a case started by the Anti-Corruption Commission over a decade ago was published on the Supreme Courts website.
Nazmul Huda, a former communication minister, is convicted of taking kickbacks in exchange for doing favours in different projects under the communication ministry.
The court has also fined him Tk 25 million.
His wife Sigma Huda was convicted of abetting in the bribery offences and handed a three-year jail term, which the High Court says she will not have to serve as she has already spent the period in police custody.
“Corruption is a curse. Corruption is seen everywhere in society. Corruption corrodes the moral fabric of society and corruption by public servants not only leads to corrosion of the moral fabric of society but is also harmful to the national economy and national interest, as the person, occupying high posts in the Government by misusing his power due to corruption can cause considerable damage to the national economy, national interest and image of the country,” the court observed.
Nazmul Huda, who had floated the BNF alliance and later the Trinamool BNP after being ousted from the BNP as a member of its policymaking body, admitted that the High Court verdict has put his polls hopes in jeopardy.
“I dont think he will be able to contest in the next parliamentary election,” lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan, who represented the ACC in the hearings of the case, told bdnews24.com referring to related sections of the constitution.
Huda said the “delay” in publishing the verdict “has put him in great trouble”.
“Now I will have to rush as it (verdict) will go to the trial court now. And Ive also come to know of the verdict now. I could have taken a stand, even at the Election Commission had I known about the verdict,” he told bdnews24.com.
“Why shall I be considered a convict as the verdict had not been published?” he asked, saying that he would take legal action to get the verdict stayed.
“The government can have the verdict stayed if it wishes to do so,” he added.
Asked whether he can contest in the elections now, the barrister by training admitted that a person sentenced to two years or more in jail could not stand in elections before five more years will have passed after serving out the jail term.
He alleged that two people who wanted to run for the Dhaka-17 seat and former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha had him framed after the High Court had earlier acquitted him of the bribery charges in the case.