Dhaka, May 6 – The Election Commission on Sunday ordered the returning officer to stop all election activities in Gazipur City Corporation following a stay order of the High Court.Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder said this while talking to reporters at his office in the city’s Nirbachan Bhaban in the afternoon.
“We‘ve ordered the returning officer to stop all polls activities in Gazipur City Corporation respecting the court order,” he said adding that they came to know through media that the High Court stayed the election for six months. The High Court Sunday stayed the Gazipur city corporation election for three months, just 9 days before the voting slated to be held on May 15.
It also issued a rule asking the Election Commission and the government to explain why inclusion of six mouzas fo Shimulia union council in Savar into the electoral roll of Gazipur city corporation should not be declared illegal.
The Election Commissioner said, “We’re yet to know for what reason the election was stayed –whether it was for the Local Government Division’s fault or for the (Election) Commission’s.”
Mahbub Talukder said the Election Commission will fix its next course of measures in this regard after receiving the copy of the stay order.
Earlier in the day, the High Court stayed the Gazipur City Corporation election scheduled to be held on May 15.
An HC bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed passed the order following hearing on a writ petition.
The Election Commission on March 31 last announced the election schedules for Khulna and Gazipur city corporations fixing the voting for May 15. -UNB
Our Staff Reporter adds: In response to a writ petition, the HC bench comprising Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed came up with the order and rule.
Earlier on January 17 this year, the same bench of the HC stayed the by-election to Dhaka North City Corporation scheduled for February 26 that would be held to fill the seat of deceased mayor Annisul Huq. Since then, the DNCC election is halted.
Deputy Attorney General Mokhlesur Rahman told reporters that the Gazipur City Corporation election would not be held on May 15 following the High Court order.
Chairman of Shimulia Parishad Chairman ABM Azharul Islam filed the writ petition challenging the legality of the process for holding Gazipur city election.
In the petition, the petitioner mentioned that the government on January 16, 2013 published a gazette incorporating six moujas of Dhaka district (South Boroibari, Domna, Shibrampur, West Panishail and Domnag) under Gazipur City Corporation but according to law, GCC was formed with Gazipur and Tongi municipalities. So, the inclusion of six moujas into the Gazipur city corporation was illegal.
Soon after the HC order, the election commission has directed the authorities concerned to stop the all electoral activities in the Gazipur city.
Talking to the reporters, election commissioner Mahbub Talukder said that the commission would determine the next course of action after getting the copy of the High Court order.
“We heard and seen from the electronic media about the High Court order over the Gazipur city corporation polls. We have directed the concerned officials to stop the electoral activities in accordance with the High Court order,” Talukder said.
“Showing respect to the court order, we have asked the returning officer to stop the election process. But, we don’t know why the election was stayed,” he added.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told reporters that decision of filing appeal against the High Court order would be taken after receiving the copy of the High Court order.
He said that the government on January 16, 2013 published a gazette incorporating six moujas of Dhaka district (South Boroibari, Domna, Shibrampur, West Panishail and Domnag) under Gazipur City Corporation.
After that a writ petition was filed with the HC challenging the gazette notification. But, the writ petition is yet to be disposed of. Although the matter is pending with the High Court for disposal, the election commission declared scheduled for Gazipur city corporations. Hence, a writ petition filed seeking stay order on the Gazipur city corporation polls. After hearing on the petition, the HC bench halted the polls for three months, the chief law officer of the state said.
Advocate BM Ilias Kochi appeared for the petitioner, advocate Touhidul Islam represented election commission while Deputy Attorney General Mokhlesur Rahman represented the state during the hearing on the petition.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda had announced the election schedule for Gazipur and Khulna city corporations on March 31.
Soon after the election scheduled, candidates from all the major parties had started their campaigns. The campaign got momentum as the BNP and rulling Awami League party candidates and supporters started to go door to door seeking votes in favour of their candidates. – Staff Reporter