Law Minister Anisul Huq today said BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia could go abroad for treatment but the process would require her to return to jail, first, in line with legal procedures.
"Subject to the government's permission under Section 401 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) Khaleda Zia has the opportunity to go abroad but she will have to go to jail again and apply anew," he said.
Huq said the government released Begum Zia suspending her jail term on certain conditions which prohibited her visit abroad while that process was done on the basis an application on her behalf.
The minister said the application was by now disposed of resulting her conditional release leaving no scope to allow her to go abroad.
Huq, a criminal lawyer by background, made the comments at a media interaction jointly staged by Law Reporters Forum (LRF) and media training organization Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI) at Hotel La Vinci in the capital.
Begum Zia sentenced to 17 years of imprisonment on two corruption charges in 2018 and freed from jail custody last year on an application by her relatives when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the country.
The minister's comments came as BNP has been asking for government permission for the party chief's visit abroad for medical treatment.
"Now they (BNP) want permission for her to go abroad . . . in that case she will have to go to jail and apply afresh after rescinding the previous application as it has been disposed of by now," Huq said.
Asked for comments about the widely debated digital security law, Huq said the abuse of the social media for insulting someone required a law but acknowledged the misuse of the law itself.
"However, the misuse of this law is gradually stopping . , , In the last three months, you can see, it has come down a lot," the minister said.
Supreme Court's Appellate Division judge Justice Obaidul Hasan and High Court Division judge Justice M Enayetur Rahim and MRDI executive director Hasibur Rahman Mukur also joined the interaction.
Law Reporters Forum president Mashhudul Haque chaired the interaction moderated by its general secretary Muhammad Yasin.