Wednesday, February 20, 2019 | ePaper
HC order on Khaleda's candidacy today
The High Court (HC) on Monday fixed Tuesday to deliver its order on three writ petitions filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia challenging the Election Commission's order that upheld the Returning Officers' decision rejecting her nomination papers.
The HC bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir fixed the date after concluding hearing on the appeals.
During the hearing, Advocate A J Mohammad Ali argued for Khaleda Zia, while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam opposed the petitions.
Khaleda Zia, a former Prime Minister, on Sunday filed the petitions also seeking HC directives on the EC to accept the nomination papers so that she can run from Bogura-6, Bogura-7 and Feni-1 Constituencies.
Citing from the petitions, Zainul Abedin, a lawyer for the BNP chief, on Sunday told the reporters that the EC rejected Khaleda's appeals on the grounds of violating the electoral code of conduct.
But the question of Khaleda's violating the code does not arise as she has been in jail since February, the counsel pointed out.
Khaleda filed nominations for Bogura-6, Bogura-7 and Feni-1, but during scrutiny, the ROs concerned rejected all the nominations on ground of her conviction in criminal cases.
Later, her lawyers opted for appeals challenging the ROs' decisions.
On Saturday, the EC rejected her all three appeals against cancellation of her nominations by Returning Officers. Following the EC order, Khaleda Zia lost a legal battle to contest in the December 30 national election.
Then she moved to the High Court for remedy.
On October 29, Khaleda was convicted and sentenced to seven years' rigorous imprisonment by a special court in Dhaka in Zia Charitable Trust corruption case. Khaleda landed in jail with to five years' imprisonment sentence given in Zia Orphanage Trust case on February 8. The High Court later extended her jail terms in the case to 10 years.
A High Court bench last week made an observation that an accused sentenced to more than two years in jail cannot contest in an election even if an appeal against the sentence remains pending. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court did not interfere in the observation.