The High Court issued a rule asking the Election Commission and other authorities concerned to explain as to why candidacy of Jamaat leaders in the upcoming parliamentary elections shall not be declared illegal.
A division bench comprising Justice ABM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order on Thursday, following a writ petition filed by two organisations challenging poll contest by Jamaat leaders. The Election Commission and others will have to reply to the rule within four weeks.
Two organisations-- Bangladesh Tariqat Federation and Amra Muktijoddhar Santan-- filed the writ petition on Wednesday.
On December 23, the Election Commission rejected a plea filed by the two organisations seeking cancellation of candidacy of 25 Jamaat leaders.
Election Commission secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed at a press conference said that there is no legal scope to dissuade Jamaat leaders from contesting polls.
A number of 25 Jamaat leaders are contesting the parliamentary polls. Of them, 22 leaders are joining electoral race with BNP’s polls symbol, Sheaf of Paddy, under the coalition Jatiya Oikya Front while three as independent candidates.
The EC came up with the decision as the High Court earlier directed it to settle an application filed by Bangladesh Tarikat Federation and Amra Muktijoddhar Sontan.
During the caretaker regime in 2008, the EC made it mandatory for political parties to be registered for contesting polls. Jamaat, a key ally of BNP, was registered with the EC at that time.
The next year, a total of 25 persons, including Bangladesh Tariqat Federation’s secretary general Syed Rezaul Haque Chandpuri, Jaker Party’s secretary general Munshi Abdul Latif and Sammilita Islami Jote’s president Ziaul Hasan, filed a writ petition challenging legality of registration of the anti-liberation organisation Jamaat-e-Islami.
On August 1, 2013, the HC declared Jamaat’s registration with the EC illegal. On June 1, 2015, the EC informed the parliament that the registration of Jamaat is cancelled following the HC order. Finally, on October 28, 2018, the EC issued a gazette on cancellation of Jamaat’s registration.
The petitioners contended that the EC allowed the Jamaat leaders to contest the upcoming polls despite cancellation of registration of the party.