JnU student Khadija's bail upheld, no obstacle to her release 

Jagannath University student Khadijatul Kubra

The Appellate Division has dismissed the state's leave to appeal against the bail granted to Jagannath University student Khadijatul Kubra, who has been in jail for a year and three months in two cases under the Digital Security Act.

The six-member Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Obaidul Hassan, issued this order on Thursday. 

As a result of the Appellate Division's decision, Khadija's bail, granted by the High Court in both cases, has been upheld, according to her lawyer BM Elias. He informed Prothom Alo, “There is no legal obstacle to Khadija's release."

According to court and lawyer sources, Khadija's bail application was rejected twice by the judicial court. Later, she applied for bail in the High Court, which was granted on 16 February.

However, the chamber court suspended the High Court's granted bail following the state's plea. Additionally, the state party's application was sent for a hearing to the regular bench of the Appellate Division. 

Meanwhile, Khadija filed an application seeking the withdrawal of the suspension order issued by the Chamber Court. This application, along with the one made by the state party, was heard in the Appellate Division on 10 July.

On that day, the Appellate Division adjourned the hearing of the application for four months. Consequently, Khadija's bail remained suspended during this period.

In the latest development, the leave to appeal filed by the state against Khadija's bail was on the agenda of the Appellate Division today, Thursday. Assistant Attorney General M Saiful Alam represented the state in court, while BM Elias and Jyotirmoy Barua were the defence lawyers. 

Khadija, a second-year student in the Political Science Department at Jagannath University, faced legal challenges when two separate cases under the Digital Security Act were filed against her and retired Major Delwar Hossain in October 2020.

The charges included tarnishing the country's image and spreading anti-government statements online. These cases were filed in the Kalabagan and New Market police stations, both initiated by the police.

In May of the following year, the police submitted the charge sheet in both cases, leading the Cyber Tribunal of Dhaka to issue arrest warrants for the two accused. Khadija was arrested by the New Market police from her residence in Mirpur on 27 August last year, and she has been in prison ever since. Meanwhile, Delwar remains at large abroad.