Govt officials in poll race at governing bodies of edn institutions

Mahabub Alam

22 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Some government officials, including senior police officers, are contesting elections to different professional and governing bodies of educational institutions in violation of the law.

Supreme Court lawyer Mizanur Rahman said no government officers and employees are allowed to take part in any kind of voting or elections as per the existing law.

Only Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) and Additional Deputy Secretary (ADC) and few others can be the presidents of educational institutions, but they cannot contest any elections, he said.

A superintendent of police (SP) is contesting the election to Viqarunnisa Noon School and College governing body. The election here is scheduled for October 25.

Golam Benzir, an SP at Police Headquarters, is vying for a guardian representative of the educational institution’s primary school section. His ballot No. is 2.

While visiting Shantinagar, Siddheswari and other areas concerned, our correspondent found many walls there flooded with his posters along with that of other candidates.

The Graffiti Writing and Poster Sticking Control Act, 2012 does not allow pasting posters on walls.

As per the law, the violators will be punished with a fine between Tk 5,000 to Tk 50,000 or imprisonment from 15 to 30 days.

Contacted, Golam Benzir told the daily sun that he was contesting the election as per law. “I have taken permission from the Home Ministry to compete in the school governing body polls.”

Md Jahangir Alam, joint secretary (police-2) at Public Security Division of the Home Ministry, defended the SP, saying a government official can take part in such polls with permission from the authorities concerned.

DA Tayeb, an inspector of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, is also an actor. He has starred in several movies and drama serials.

Tayeb submitted nomination form to contest the upcoming FDC Cholochitro Shilpi Samiti Election for the post of general secretary.

 A high official of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) pasted posters, seeking support from the guardians of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College as he intended to vie for guardians’ representative in the institution’s governing body.

The intending candidate for the institution’s governing body polls is DSCC Secretary Md Mostafa Kamal Mazumder, also a joint secretary of the government.

His posters are found on the walls at New Bailey Road, Kakrail, Shantinagar, Mailbag and other areas in the city.

Dhaka University Professor Dr Imtiaz Ahmed said a government employee cannot take part in any elections.

“Who will do their routine duties if they take part in polls? If police officers join such elections to professional and governing bodies of educational institutions, one day they will take part in the national elections,” he said.

Dr Imtiaz also said government employees and officials, particularly police personnel, should abstain from contesting any elections.