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June 2, 2004, 06:03 AM
Supreme Court rejects by-polls appeal petition, upholds HC stay order

No transparency in by-polls process & filing of the stay petition: Barrister Rokan

The Supreme Court today (Wednesday) rejected the appeal petition filed by the Election Commission against the High Court order staying the June 6 by-election in Dhaka-10 constituency.

The full bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Syed JR Mudassir Hossain, gave the order at about 11 am after three days of intense hearing on the highly politically significant election case.

With this verdict, the Appellate Division upheld the stay order issued earlier by the High Court.

The full bench of the Supreme Court directed both the parties to get the writ petition, pending before the High Court over the dispute on election symbol, heard expeditiously.


No transparency in by-polls process & filing of the stay petition: Barrister Rokan

Counsel for Major (rtd) Mannan in the by-election symbol case Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the entire election process was directed to make it convenient for a politically powerful man who is in the race.

Continuing inconclusive argument in the appeal against the High Court stay of June 6 by-poll in Dhaka-10 constituency Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud contended that some enthusiastic election officers stoked irregular process favouring PM’s political secretary without naming Mosaddeq Ali Falu.

“Sanctity of election procedures have been lost, it has also been violated by the Returning Officer. There was no transparency in the election process as well as filing the appeal,” submitted the counsel.

“My Lord, election cannot be held in such a situation…We do not want another Magura style of by-election that had jeopardized the democratic norms.”

Questioning admissibility of the petition Barrister Rokan submitted that it is not clear who is the petitioner. It is not either transparent in the eye of law.

Again, he pointed to the gross irregularities on the part of petitioner in filing the appeal and illegality done by the election commission in the process of election schedule. The court should intervene for ends of justice, submitted the counsel.

Pointing to illegality adopted by the Returning Officer the counsel said election symbol has to be allocated one day after finalizing the list of candidates. But here RO allocated the symbols minutes after the final list. RO also showed thump to his boss who had instructed to consider the petition of Mannan seeking Kula symnbol for the newly floated party Bikalpa Dhara.

Refuting petitioner’s contention the counsel said there was no time limit for asking symbol by non-registered political party. Three days limit after announcement of the election schedule is not applicable for the new party.

He referred to the election rules that says, a party would be allocated a single symbol for all its candidates. Bikalpa Dhara candidate for Munishinganj-1 was allocated Kula while it was denied in case of Mannan to make it convenient to the ruling party candidate. This is unheard that a party was allocated two symbols, submitted the lawyer.

Barrister Rokan dismissed the petitioner’s contention that by-election has to be held within 90 days under constitutional obligation after the seat fall vacant. Citing the Supreme Court decision in Bhola-1 by-election case, he submitted that the time lost in legal battle was exempted for counting 90 days.

He further submitted that while staying the election process the High Court issued rule to ascertain legality of allocation of Bench symbol instead of Kula to Mannan. The reason for issuing the rule by the High Court would be frustrated if the petition is granted.

Barrister Rokan raised a pertinent question. Had Mannan come to you with such a petition having many flaws and irregularities, would you entertain him during the vacation?

Barrister Rafiqul Huq, standing for Mannan placed case decisions. He will continue his submissions today.


[Edited on 12-6-2004 by abhs]

June 12, 2004, 04:42 AM
Kula goes to Major Mannan

High Court orders EC to allocate ‘Kula’ symbol to Major Mannan for Dhaka-10 by-polls

Here is the news in detail:

Major Mannan wins legal row over by-election symbol

HC directs EC to allocate ‘Kula’ symbol to Major Mannan for Dhaka-10 by-polls

Bikalpa Dhara candidate Major Mannan won the legal battle over election symbol as the High Court on Saturday directed the Returning Officer to allocate ‘Kula’ to him for Dhaka-10 parliamentary by-election.

The court declared “illegal” the decision of the Returning Officer allocating `Bench’ to Major (Rtd) Abdul Mannan, denying him `Kula’ he had applied for as his party symbol.

An HC bench comprising Justice M Abdul Matin and Justice Tariq-ul Haikm also directed the Returning Officer to allocate election symbol to independent candidate Mahbub Hossain Bhuiyan according to his choice.

Bhuiyan was given the winnowing fan (Kula), which triggered a raucous dispute over the election symbol for the by-election to the parliament seat that Mannan vacated in breaking away from the ruling BNP three months ago.

The court asked the Election Commission to expeditiously announce a fresh schedule for holding by-election in the Ramna-Tejgaon constituency, which was set for June 6 but stayed by High Court orders.

The order of stay came on May 26 upon an application by Major Mannan against non-compliance of the High Court order for the Returning Officer to reconsider the allocation of Kula symbol.

Earlier, he had filed a writ petition challenging the legality of the Returning Officer’s refusal to grant him the symbol of his choice.

Regarding the constitutional compulsion for holding by-election within 90 days of a seat falling vacant, the Court viewed that the period lost in the legal battle would be adjusted, discounting the days from May 20 to June 12 in computing 90 days.

The court in its judgement termed “unbecoming” the Election Commission’s action after the court’s first directive for the EC to reconsider the petitioner’s case on the election symbol.

Neither the Election Commission nor the Returning Officer for Dhaka-10 by-election did appear as respondents to contest the case.

However, the other respondent, independent candidate Mahbub Hossain Bhuiyan, who was given the contentious Kula by the Returning Officer, ceased from contesting the case.

Earlier, the Election Commission had moved the Supreme Court to have the HC stay order on the June 6 by-poll vacated. The SC referred the case back to the High Court to settle the election-symbol case.

Dr. Kamal Hossain, Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud and MK Rahman appeared for Major (Rtd) Mannan.


Source:Bangladeshinfo (http://www.bangladeshinfo.com)

[Edited on 12-6-2004 by abhs : To add the detail news]

June 12, 2004, 04:52 AM
Mul shomoshata clear holo na :-/
Kula marka niya eto genjam ken?

June 12, 2004, 06:06 AM
Possibly, repeatation of the same story.
There was similar play in Tangail by-polls.
Kader Siddiqi was fighting for "Gamsa" and now Major Mannan fought for "Kula".

Despite too many dummy candidates, Kader Siddiqi got the symbol in the first chance, Major Mannan had to get it by High court order.

Lets hope that after election situation for both cases would not coincide.

[Edited on 12-6-2004 by abhs]