Dhaka: Opposition BNP chief Khaleda Zia, her Malaysia-based daughter-in-law and two grand-daughters were summoned on Sunday to appear before a Bangladeshi court next month in connection with a USD 5.8 million loan default case.
Dhaka's First Money Loan Court ordered Zia's personal appearance on April 12 along with the wife and two daughters of her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko, who died in January, to explain her position in writing on the charge of loan default filed by Sonali Bank, a state-owned leading commercial bank in Bangladesh.
The former premier and her three family members have been made defendants in the case filed against the directors of their family-owned company, Dandy Dyeing Ltd, for defaulting on a loan of Tk 45.59 crore.
Judge Ruksana Parvin Happy passed the order following a summon petition filed by the bank, and fixed April 12 for framing and hearing the case.
"The judge also asked them to submit in writing their statements before the court on that day," a court official said.
Koko's wife Sharmila Rahman Sithi and daughters Zafia Rahman and Zahia Rahman currently live in Malaysia.
Following Koko's death in Malaysia on January 24, Sonali Bank's Senior Executive Officer Nazrul Islam filed the petition before the court on March 8.
The other defendants of the case include Zia's elder son and BNP's senior vice president Tarique Rahman, his friend and business partner Giasuddin Al-Mamun and his wife Shahina Yasmine and the wife of one of Zia's brothers.
Bank officials said the Dandy Dyeing had actually borrowed Taka 12.16 crore on October 16, 2001 but the outstanding amount now stood at Taka 45.59 crore with accumulated interest over the years due to non-repayment of the loan.
On October 2, 2012, Sonali Bank filed the case as the defendants failed to repay the loan, though the bank issued a final notice on February 28, 2010, asking them to repay the loan.
Zia has been repeatedly failed to appear before another Dhaka court to stand trial on a separate graft case after which the judge last month issued arrest warrant against her.
Police, however, was yet to comply with the order.
Zia is facing the court battles when she leads the fierce campaign in her apparent efforts to topple the ruling Awami League government of her archrival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina demanding mid-term elections.
At least 130 people have been killed since BNP and its righ-twing allies enforced a non-stop nationwide blockade on January 5 coinciding with the first anniversary of the divisive 2014 polls which it had boycotted.