Dhaka, Nov 16: The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a High Court order that granted bail to Jagannath University student Khadijatul Kubra in two cases under the Digital Security Act in 2020.
As a result, now there is no legal barrier for Khadiza, who has been in prison since September , 2022, to walk out of the jail.
A six-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Obaidul Hassan passed the order after hearing a petition filed against the stay order of the Chamber Court.
Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua and advocate BM Illias Kochi stood for the accused and assistant attorney general Saiful Alam represented the state.
The defendant’s lawyers said that the JnU student now has no barrier to walk out of the jail.
In October 2020, police filed two cases against Khadija and retired Major Delowar Hossain at the Kalabagan and New Market Police Stations for ‘spreading anti-government propaganda and harming Bangladesh’s reputation.’
The allegations in the two cases filed a week apart, were similar.
Police arrested Khadija on September 17, 2022. She has been imprisoned since then.
According to the case details, Khadija and Delowar conspired to broadcast false, fabricated, and defamatory propaganda about the Prime Minister, various government agencies, and senior state officials in order to oust the country’s legitimate administration. They were aiming to destroy communal harmony through their conspiracy by promoting enmity, hatred, and division among various communities, it said.
Khadija was 17 when the cases were filed under the Digital Security Act in 2020, but the case was filed showing her as an adult, according to her lawyer. Despite having kidney disease, Khadija’s bail petitions were repeatedly denied by a Dhaka court.
On February 23 this year, Khadija was granted bail by the HC in the cases. The state filed a petition challenging the bail.
On July 10 of the year, the Appellate Division suspended the bail of Kubra for four months in two cases.
During the hearing, Khadija’s lawyer Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua argued that she was not accountable for the opinions expressed by guests in videos on her YouTube channel.