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Haji Selim appeals challenging HC’s jail term

Ruling Awami League MP Haji Mohammad Selim moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday, seeking quashing of his 10-year prison sentence handed down by a lower court in a graft case.

Haji Selim’s counsel Syed Ahmed Raza, submitted the plea to the appellate division of the apex court. A bail petition was also submitted in the same case filed by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), he said, reports UNB.

Earlier on Sunday, Selim was sent to jail in this case by a Dhaka court following his surrender. After spending a night in jail, he was admitted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on Monday.

Haji Selim, who was sentenced to 10 years in jail in the graft case, went to Bangkok for treatment on May 2 and returned home on May 5, sparking a huge controversy.

On February 10, the full text of the High Court’s order was published upholding his 10-year imprisonment.

The HC had earlier asked him to surrender before the trial court within 30 days of getting the order and also directed the trial court to cancel the bail order of the MP and issue an arrest warrant against him “if he does not surrender within the given time”.

ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam said, “After this order, Haji Selim has lost the eligibility to remain an MP according to the Article 66 (2) of the Constitution.”

On March 9 last year, the HC bench of justices Md Moinul Islam Chowdhury and AKM Zahirul Huq upheld the lower court order sentencing him to 10 years in jail after hearing a petition by the ACC.

At the same time, the Dhaka-7 MP was acquitted of a three-year jail term in the same case filed by the ACC for concealing wealth information.

The High Court also reduced the fine imposed on Salim by half to Tk 10 lakh. He will have to spend one more year in jail if he fails to pay the fine.

In 2007, the ACC filed the case against Salim. On April 27, 2008, a Dhaka court jailed him for 13 years and fined Tk 20 lakh.

Selim moved the High Court against the order. In 2011, the court overturned his sentence but the ACC later appealed against the lower court order.

Later, the Appellate Division had asked the High Court to re-hear the petition.

Irregularities of Salim resurfaced after his son Irfan Selim was arrested for assaulting a Navy official in 2020.