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HC sets Apr 10 for judgment on the case PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 March 2008

BNP leadership

The High Court set April 10 for pronouncing its judgment on the much-debated writ of detained BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia challenging validity of the Election Commission invitation to her party''s reformist faction for dialogue on electoral reforms, reports UNB.

A division bench comprising Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Mamnoon Rahman passed the order Monday fixing the date for the verdict, following hearings on extensive submissions from both sides.

The court also adjourned until April 10 the hearing on another writ of similar nature in the form of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Nasir Uddin Ashim, a BNP leader.

On November 4 last year, the High Court, upon Asim''s writ, had issued rule upon the EC and the government to explain why they should not be directed to invite legitimate BNP officials for the pre-election dialogue on electoral reforms.

Earlier On Mar 18, the bench closed the hearings on the writ petition that had lasted long ten working days, with veterans in black gowns fighting war of words in their legal jargons.

The BNP-leadership dispute arose when on November 5 last year the EC, ignoring Khaleda-appointed BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain, sent a letter to Maj (Retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed to participate in the dialogue with political parties preparatory to holding the stalled parliament elections.

Aggrieved at the decision, Khaleda Zia, also the immediate-past premier, moved to the High Court for seeking redress. On November 18 the same year, the High Court, responding to Khaleda''s writ, had stayed operation of the EC letter to the BNP standing committee-nominated acting secretary general, Maj Hafiz, causing the Election Commission to inconclusively conclude the crucial first round of its reform dialogue with political parties.

The court also had issued a rule upon the EC, the acting secretary general and six members of the BNP standing committee and the chief adviser of the caretaker government to explain why the impugned letter ''should not be declared illegal''.

On September 2 last year, prior to her arrest in connection with a corruption case amid a crackdown on politicians in the interim period, the BNP chief expelled her secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan on charge of anti-party activities and handpicked Khandker Delwar as secretary general.

On October 29, an impromptu meeting of the BNP standing committee declared M Saifur Rahman and Maj (Retd) Hafiz acting chairperson and acting secretary general respectively, in a sort of inner-party coup.

The EC took the decision on the plea of "doctrine of necessity" in the wake of a tug-of-war between the two squabbling groups in the BNP. Since the BNP leadership hinges on the decision of the High Court ruling, the EC could not complete its dialogue programme with the political parties on electoral reforms.

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