Bangladesh HC delivers split order on Khaleda's candidacy

HC delivers split order on Khaleda’s candidature

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Dhaka, Dec 11 – The High Court on Tuesday issued a split order on BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s candidature in all the three constituencies she submitted nomination papers to contest the upcoming national election. The bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir came up with the split order.
Her nominations for Feni-1, Bogura-6 and 7 constituencies have been rejected by returning officers. The Election Commission also upheld the decisions, prompting the former prime minister to move to the High Court on Monday.
Senior Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed stayed the EC’s decision and accepted Khaleda’s appeal while Justice Md Iqbal Kabir upheld the decision.
On Monday, the bench fixed today (Tuesday) for delivering a verdict on the matter after hearing the petition.
As per rules, now the petition will be sent to the Chief Justice and he will form a new bench to settle the issue, said a lawyer of Khaleda Zia.
According to the rules, a convict, who served two or more years in jail in a criminal case, must wait for five years after serving the sentence before she or he can contest elections again.
BNP chief Khaleda was jailed for five years on February 8 this year in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Her jail term was doubled by the High Court on October 30. A day before that, she was sentenced to seven-year imprisonment by a special court in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.
The former prime minister had filed nominations for contesting three seats. But election officials declared her ineligible for polls on December 2 since she had been convicted in the two graft cases.
Khaleda’s lawyers moved the Election Commission on Wednesday. Barrister Kaisar Kamal filed the appeal for Feni-1, while Barrister Nowshad Jamin filed for Bogura-6 and Advocate Masud Ahmed Talukder for Bogura-7.
On Saturday, the commission upheld the returning officers’ decision. – UNB

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