The court had issued the rule on 18 June in 2019, granting an interim bail of six months to Khaleda Zia in the two cases.

The rule also asked the lawyers to explain as to why she will not be granted a permanent bail. However, the interim bail was extended later in phases.

The rule was placed before the court for hearing on Thursday. Lawyers Kaisar Kamal and AHM Kamruzzaman argued for the BNP chief while deputy attorney general Md Sarwar Hossain represented the state.

In a conversation with Prothom Alo, Kaisar Kamal said the cases were filed against the BNP chairperson with a Dhaka court, for alleged defamation and instigating religious split. However, the High Court granted permanent bail to her.

According to sources, AB Siddqui, president of Jananetri Parishad, filed the cases on allegation of hurting religious sentiment in 2014 and making derogatory remarks on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 2016.

The trial court issued arrest warrants in both of the cases. Khaleda Zia filed a petition with the High Court on 20 May 2019, seeking bail in the two cases.

The High Court handed down its decision on the petition on Thursday, after being informed that the previous interim bail terms were not misused by the accused.

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