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Thursday, January 17, 2019

DNCC by-polls can be held now : HC

Staff Reporter :
The High Court (HC) on Wednesday cleared the way for holding the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) election for Mayor al post, 18 Ward Councillors and the reserved posts.
The court lifted its earlier order that stayed the process for holding the DNCC election and at the same time discharged the rules that were issued earlier, questioning the legality of the election schedule.
The HC bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice Mohammad Ullah passed the order as no lawyer appeared for the writ petitioners.
The lawyers said, now there is no legal bar to hold the by-polls for the DNCC mayor and 18 new wards and reserved posts.
In this circumstance, the writ petitioners have the right to submit the plea for rehearing the petitions. But the writ petitioners lawyer Advocate Ahsan Habib Bhuiyan said, his clients are no more interested to continue the cases.
Following the two writ petitions, a High Court bench on February 17, 2018, stayed for three months the effectiveness of the schedule declared for holding the mayor by-election in Dhaka North City Corporation scheduled to be held on February 26, 2018.
The HC also issued a rule asking the authorities as to why the declared schedule for holding election to DNCC Mayor and Councillors' posts for new 18 wards and reserved posts under DNCC should not be declared without lawful authority.
Later on February 25, 2018, the Supreme Court asked the HC to expedite hearing and disposal of its previous rules that halted the by-election to Dhaka North City Corporation mayor post and polls in the 18 new wards and reserved posts under the DNCC.
The process for holding the election was to remain halted until the HC rules are disposed of, the court said.
The DNCC mayor post fell vacant after Annisul Huq passed away on November 30, 2017. On December 1, 2018, the Local Government Division declared the post vacant.
On January 9, 2018, the Election Commission (EC) announced the election schedule. Deadline for filing nomination was set for January 18, while January 21 and 22 were set for scrutinizing the nominations submitted. Deadline to withdraw candidacy is January 29.
Jahangir Alam, Chairman of Berait Union Parishad, and Md Ataur Rahman, Chairman of Bhatara Union Parishad, filed the two petitions on January 16, 2018, challenging the legality of the schedule fixed by the EC for holding the polls.
After hearing the writ petitions, the HC bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed stayed for three months the effectiveness of the schedule declared for holding the mayor by-election in Dhaka North City Corporation and issued a rule. Later the rule was heard by the HC bench of Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore and Justice Mohammad Ullah.
Advocate Kazi Maynul Hasan, appearing in the court on behalf of the Local Government Division, said, now there is no legal bar to hold the DNCC election.