WRIT AGAINST CITY POLLS
HC issues order to stop process till PIL hearingStaff Correspondent
The High Court said on Sunday that the process of May 24 elections to the two city corruptions of Dhaka should be suspended until the court hears a public interest litigation in this regard.
Responding to a writ petition filed by the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh on the day, the court directed the government to communicate with the Election Commission to stop further proceedings of the elections.
The bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Justice Jahangir Hossain heard the petition and adjourned it till Monday afternoon on assurance by additional attorney general MK Rahman that he would communicate with the commission to stop the election process till the hearing which resumes today.
On the request of the court, Shahdeen Malik, who appeared before it in some other cases, said it was not for him to say anything in
the present case as the commission had not instructed him in this connection.
‘After getting instruction from the commission, I will submit tomorrow (Monday) as the office hour of the commission is closed today,’ he added.
HRPB’s counsel Manzill Murshid submitted that the elections were going to be held without complying with sections 3(2), 5(1)(Kha), 27, 28, 29 and 30 of the Local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009.
The government has amended the act and published a gazette notification on December 1, 2011 incorporating a provision for dividing the erstwhile Dhaka City Corporation into two — Dhaka North City Corporation and Dhaka South City Corporation.
‘But the other provisions which must be fulfilled before the elections of a new city corporation was not followed,’ Manzill submitted.
Additional attorney general MK Rahman and deputy attorney general ABM Altaf Hossain, who represented the government, admitted that some electoral provisions had been violated as per the petition.
In reference to the section 3 (2) of the act, Manzill submitted that the area of every city corporation would be included in first schedule.
‘At present there are two city corporations but the government has not published any gazette notification in which the area of the land of a particular city corporation can be identified in the fist schedule’, he said.
He submitted that as per the Section 27(1) of the act, the corporation had to be divided into wards and in that case boundary demarcation officer must be recommended for dividing of specific number of wards.
Section 27(2) of the act says the number of wards has to be determined in accordance with the latest census but in the present case, there is no such census, said Manzill.
Manzill said as per section 28 of the act the government must appoint boundary demarcation officer from among the persons serving under the government.
He said section 29 of the act said the area of the land in the city must be determined during the settlement of the boundary demarcation of the wards.
As per section 5 of the act, the boundary demarcation officer will publish a final list mentioning the area of the ward, but nothing was done in this regard, submitted Manzill.
Section 30 of the act stipulates that the government has to determine the boundary of the ward for woman reserved seat but the rule was also flouted, he submitted.
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