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Bhuiyan made party to writ petitions PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 March 2008

EC dialogue

Staff Correspondent

The High Court Monday made former BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan a party to twin writ petitions filed by BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and former Chhatra Dal leader Nasiruddin Ahmed on the Election Commission dialogue.

A two-member panel of justices Mirza Hossein Haider and Mamnun Rahman included Bhuiyan as the 14th respondent to the petitions.

Bhuiyan filed an appeal Monday, seeking to be a party to the writ petitions. Two factions of the BNP ended up in a conflict over the dialogue with the Election Commission as both claimed to be in the mainstream.

BNP leader Khandaker Delwar Hossain leads a faction, known as loyal to the detained party chief, while the other is led by former finance minister M Saifur Rahman, with former minister Hafizuddin Ahmed as his deputy.

A day before her arrest on Sept 3, Khaleda sacked Bhuiyan as the party's secretary general replacing him with Delwar—a rare move that threw the party into turmoil. Later the BNP standing committee backed by Saifur loyalists disapproved the decision by Khaleda.

Barrister Masud Reza Sobhan took part in the hearing on behalf of Bhuiyan and said: "A number of issues that aggrieved Mannan Bhuiyan came up during the hearing." "Mannan Bhuiyan was also present at the meeting of the standing committee. He is still a member of the standing committee.

The standing committee has not yet approved his expulsion from the post of secretary general," he said. "So the post of secretary general remains suspended.

This is why he should be included as a party to the writ petition." Khaleda's counsel TH Khan argued: "The issues like whether Mannan Bhuiyan is a member of the standing committee or whether his post of secretary general is suspended cannot be settled during the hearing of the writ petition." Khan said Bhuiyan should file a civil petition, if necessary, to settle the issues. "So his appeal is not tenable."

On Nov 18, the High Court suspended the effectiveness of the Election Commission letter that invited retired major Hafizuddin Ahmed to electoral reforms dialogue with the EC. On Nov 5, the EC in a letter invited Hafizuddin to participate in the dialogue then slated for Nov 22.

The court asked the EC, six members of the BNP standing committee and Hafizuddin to explain why the invitation was not illegal and why Delwar would not be invited to represent the BNP to dialogue. Earlier on Nov 4, the High Court, acting on another writ petition by Nasiruddin Ahmed, asked the EC to explain why it would not be directed to invite a BNP faction to the dialogue in line with the law, tradition and BNP constitution

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