SC ‘no order’ confirms accused cannot join polls

Dhaka: The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Wednesday did not respond to a petition filed by Dr AZM Zahid Hossain challenging the High Court order that barred the persons jailed for more than two years with their appeals pending with courts cannot compete in the election.

A seven-member bench of the Appellate Division, led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, passed a ‘no order’ on the petition, reports the UNB.

Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud and Advocate Ahsanul Karim stood for the petitioner while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam represented the state. Advocate Khurshid Alam stood for the Anti-Corruption Commission.

‘The SC passed a ‘no order’ in the petition which means the High Court order will remain in force,’ said the AG.

On Tuesday, Dr AZM Zahid Hossain, a leader of Doctors’ Association of Bangladesh (DAB), filed a petition with the Appellate Division challenging the HC order and seeking stay on the conviction as he could take part in the election.

The High Court on Tuesday said those who have been sentenced to over two years’ jail by a lower court in any graft case with appeal pending will not be allowed to contest elections.

The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice KM Hafizul Alam came up with the observation after rejecting separate petitions filed by five BNP leaders, including BNP chairperson’s adviser Amanullah Aman seeking stay on conviction and sentence.

The HC also said they will be able to contest the polls if the Appellate Division stays the conviction or grants bail to the convicts.

On Monday, five BNP leaders — Amanullah Aman, Dr AZM Zahid, Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan, Abdul Wahab and Mashiur Rahman — filed separate petitions under section 426 of criminal offence with the High Court seeking stay orders on the lower court verdicts in the graft cases filed against them.