HC asks EC to dispose of pleas to drop 22 Jamaat candidates

HC asks EC to dispose of pleas to drop 22 Jamaat candidates

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Dhaka, Dec 18 – The High Court on Tuesday directed the Election Commission to dispose of in three working days the application filed for cancelling the candidacy of 22 Jamaat-e-Islami men, who wanted to contest in the upcoming elections with the symbol of ‘Sheaf of Paddy’.The HC bench also issued a rule asking the government to explain in four weeks why the EC’s decision to allow 22 Jamaat candidates to contest in the elections despite the cancellation of their registration should not be declared illegal.
The HC bench also asked the EC to show causes why the commission should not be directed to cancel their candidacy.
In response to a writ petition, the HC bench comprising Justice Md Ashfaqul Islam and Justice Mohammad Ali came up with the order and rule.
The election commission, chief election commissioner and Jamaat candidates have been made respondents to reply to the rule within four weeks.
Syed Rezaul Haque Chandpuri, secretary general of Bangladesh Tarikat Federation, filed the writ petition with the HC seeking cancellation of the commission’s decision to allow 22 Jamaat-e-Islami leaders to
contest the December 30 elections.
In the petition, it was mentioned that the HC in 2013 scrapped Jamaat-e-Islami’s registration with the EC. Hence, the party’s leaders cannot be allowed to contest the polls. Before filing the writ, the petitioner also filed an appeal with the Election Commission.
Barrister Tania Amir, counsel for the petitioner, told reporters that in a verdict in 2013 the High Court had declared the registration of Jamaat-e-Islami with the Election Commission. Although the party filed an appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court against the High Court verdict, it could not hold a hearing on the appeal.
Now the party men are contesting with the symbol of another party, which is one kind of deception, she added.
Jamaat’s registration as a political party with the Election Commission was cancelled by the High Court on August 1, 2013, following a writ petition filed by 25 people, including Chandpuri. The EC finally issued a gazette notification on October 29 this year cancelling the party’s registration. – Staff Reporter

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