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  • Last Update : 10:24 am

HC asks EC not to accept BNP’s amended charter

  • Published at 08:02 am October 31st, 2018
File photo of Bangladesh High Court

BNP amended its constitution by removing the provision against bankrupt, insane, corrupt individuals from being a candidate for contesting the parliamentary election

The High Court has questioned the legality of the BNP’s amended constitution that scrapped the provision barring corrupt individuals from securing nomination to contest election.

It also directed the Election Commission not to accept the amended article 7 of the charter and dispose of it within 30 days.

The bench of Justice Ashfaqul Islam and Justice Mohammad Ali issued the direction on Wednesday.

On January 28, BNP submitted its amended constitution to the EC for approval deleting Section-7 that barred a person convicted under the president ordinance no. 8 of 1972, insolvent, person proven as insane, and person known to the society as corrupt or notorious as disqualified for the membership in the party’s national council, national executive committee, national standing committee or any other executive committee or for candidature of national parliament election.

It added a provision that the head official of BNP will hold the office of the chairperson; and any person under 30 years of age cannot be the party chief.

The court also issued a rule on why BNP’s amended their constitution allowing individuals convicted of corruption to hold positions in the party would not be declared illegal and why it would not be considered a constitutional conflict with section 66 (2)(d).

Local Government Division secretary, chief election commissioner, EC secretary, BNP acting chairman and secretary general has been directed to offer an explanation within four weeks. 

Section 66 (2) (d) of the constitution says that a person will be disqualified from running in the election, if that person “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.”

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will not be able to contest in the upcoming 11th general election unless the verdicts in two corruption cases that landed her in jail are scrapped, say government officials.

BNP changed their party constitution allowing a person convicted of corruption to sit on their committees a month before Khaleda’s conviction. 

The amended constitution was submitted to EC just less than a month before a Dhaka court found Khaleda guilty of corruption charges in February in a case filed over embezzlement of money from a charitable trust after her late husband’s name.

A person, named Mozammel Hossain, later filed an appeal to the Election Commission challenging the planned change to the party constitution. 

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