Appeals rejected, Mintoo to move High Court for validation

Appeals rejected, Mintoo to move High Court for validation

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The authorities yesterday rejected the appeals of BNP leader Abdul Awal Mintoo and Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu challenging the cancellation of their nominations for mayoral elections for Dhaka North and Dhaka South City Corporations.
Dhaka Divisional Commissioner Zillar Rahman, the appellate authority to adjudicate disputes over candidature in the two city corporation polls in Dhaka, rejected Mintoo’s appeal on the ground, “Mintoo has committed procedural flaws during the submission of the nomination form as the person, Abdur Razzak, supported his nomination is not a voter of the DNCC.The decision came on the first day of hearing on the appeals filed by the mayor and councillor aspirants for the upcoming Dhaka city corporation polls challenging cancellation of their nominations.
In a jam-packed room, the Divisional Commissioner Zillar Rahman started the hearings on the appeals around 10:00am at his Segunbagicha office, said an official of the divisional commissioner’s office.
Mintoo’s nomination was cancelled on April 1 due to mistakes in the filing procedure, while Pintu’s nomination was cancelled on the same day for providing incorrect information about the cases filed against him.
Both of them filed appeals on Thursday with the divisional commissioner of Dhaka, challenging returning officers’ decision to disqualify them.
After the order, Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon told reporters that they did not get justice. “We will move with the High Court against the order after discussing with Mintoo,” he said.
He alleged that the Election Commission has cancelled his nomination paper due to a minor mistake. The EC could correct it easily and but they did not do it due to political reason, he said.
“If Mintoo’s candidature relyed on the ruling party, the EC would have not cancelled his nomination,” he added.
During the hearing, Barrister Moudud Ahmed told the appellate authority that the commission should overlook the some minor problems for ensuring a comprehensive participatory election.
He also said that Mintoo was neither a loan defaulter nor a convicted person. His candidature should be declared legal, he urged.
Moudud also said that Abdur Razzak is a permanent resident of Uttara area. Razzak is a regular tax payer in our country. His name was not included in the voter list. Razaak was the supporter of the nomination form of Mintoo. The EC has cancelled the candidature of Mintoo due to this minor problem, which is not fair in the eye of law, he added.
“All eyes are set on the tribunal decision on the Mintoo’s appeal. EC should not make negative attitude over the issue. If the appellate authority would not take positive decision then the maximum participatory election would not be ensured in the ensuing bifurcated Dhaka City Corporation election scheduled to be held on April 28,” Moudud added.
“If the election commission will overlook such type of minor thing to ensure the maximum participation in the election, the commission would stay in respectable position,” he noted.
“We hope that you would allow the Mintoo’s candidature for the upcoming DCC election for the greater interest of the maximum participatory election, which would make it more effective and meaningful in the eye of people,” the senior lawyer said.
Barrister Jamir Uddin Sircar told the Appellate Authority that there has arisen any kind of benefit of doubts regarding the cancellation of any candidature, the whole opportunity of the doubt goes to the plaintiff’s favour in accordance with the law.
“We have seen that the EC had cancelled the nomination form of Abdul Awal Mintoo due to the minor thing, which can be cleared under one kind of benefit of doubt. So, the Mintoo’s candidature should be declared legal,” he noted.
“If any candidate would submit an incorrect nomination form to the election commission, then the EC can correct it easily for ensuring a participatory and comprehensive election,” he noted.
Opposing their arguments, the deputy election commissioner, told the appellate authority that the nomination form of Mintoo was not filed before the EC in accordance with the law. He did not fill up the nomination form in line with the section 12 (1) of the election commission rules. Hence, his candidature has been cancelled, he added.
In response to the appellate authority declaration, two representatives from the Sonali Bank Limited raised a question saying that the candidature of Mintoo should not be declared as a legal candidate as he is a loan defaulter of TK 2.48 crore. Mintoo was a personal grantor of the loan, which was provided earlier to the KNQ company.
Elections to Dhaka and Chittagong city corporations will be held on April 28. The deadline for filing nomination expired on March 29. A total of 47 mayoral and 1,417 councillor aspirants filed nominations in the two Dhaka city corporations.
While scrutinising the nomination papers on April 1 and 2, retuning officers cancelled nominations of five mayoral and 203 councillor aspirants on grounds like hiding information, loan default and mistakes in filing procedure.
Meanwhile, the appellate authority also rejected the appeal of former Chhatra Dal leader and lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu as his lawyer failed to show any document of stay order against his conviction or charge of BDR mutiny.
Pintu’s lawyer Aminul Islam expressed his disappointment over the judgement and said they would move to the High Court to challenge the order. – Staff Reporter

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