The High Court on Tuesday observed that a lawmaker of Bangladesh will be disqualified to hold the office if he/she is convicted and sentenced by any court of any sovereign state to imprisonment for minimum two years on charge of moral turpitude.
It came up with the observation rejecting a writ petition filed challenging the regality of cancelling the MP post of Mohammad Shahid Islam Papul from Laxmipur-2 constituency for his conviction by a Kuwaiti court.An HC bench comprised of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Kamrul Hossain Mollah also rejected a writ petition filed challenging the schedule for holding the by-election in the parliamentary seat on June 21. Citing article 66(2)(d) of the Constitution of Bangladesh, the court said: "A person shall be disqualified for election as, or for being, a member of parliament who has been, on conviction for a criminal offence involving moral turpitude, sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release."
Papul, who established companies in Kuwait, reportedly took 20,000 Bangladeshi workers to the country in exchange for 50 million Kuwaiti dinars.
On June 7 last year, Kuwait police arrested Papul on charges of human trafficking, money laundering and torturing employees.
On December 27 last year, a Dhaka court ordered freezing of 617 bank accounts belonging to Papul, his wife Salina Islam, their daughter Wafa Islam and Papul's sister-in-law Jesmin Prodhan.
On January 28 last, a Kuwait court convicted Papul and sentenced him to imprisonment for four years in a bribery case. Later, the sentence was extended to seven years.
The Parliament Secretariat, on February 22, issued a gazette notification announcing that the Laxmipur-2 constituency vacant.Later on March 15, Kazi Papul's sister Nurunnahar Begum and Shahadat Hossain, proposer for Kazi Papul's nomination, filed a writ petition with the High Court.
The HC said the writ petitioners have no locus standi (legal right) to challenge the decision announcing the Laxmipur-2 constituency vacant as it affected Papul, not them.