Sohel Taj’s resignation letter not accepted: SpeakerTaib Ahmed
Speaker’s decision childish: Sohel Taj
The speaker, Abdul Hamid, on Wednesday said that his office had not ‘accepted’ the resignation of ruling Awami League lawmaker Tanjim Ahmed as the letter had not been ‘submitted properly.’
The lawmaker, also known as Sohel Taj, meanwhile, termed the speaker’s decision ‘childish’ and said that he had no words to express his ‘frustration’ about the speaker’s decision.
‘The resignation letter has not been accepted as it has not been submitted in keeping with the constitution and the Rules of Procedure,’ the speaker told reporters at
his office in the parliament building.
The personal aid of Sohel Taj, the lawmaker for the Gazipur 4 constituency, reached the letter to the speaker’s office on April 23, about three years after Sohel Taj had resigned as the state minister for home affairs.
Hamid said that he would consider the resignation letter if Sohel Taj, now in the United States, submitted it again ‘properly’.
In keeping with Section 67 of the constitution, the resignation letter of any lawmaker must include the words ‘willing to resign.’ He said, ‘But the resignation letter [of Sohel Taj] does not contain the words.’
‘On the other hand,’ he said, ‘The letter must be hand-written by himself. But the letter was typewritten.’
Doubting whether the letter was sent by Sohel Taj, the speaker said, ‘Moreover, the signature and the date were written in inks of different types and it seemed that they have been written by different people.’
He said the letter had been received in Dhaka at 10:50am on April 23.
‘That means,’ he said, ‘that the letter dated April 23 was received at 12:50am on April 23 EDT which means that the letter took only 50 minutes to reach Dhaka.’
‘This is impossible. You would need an angel if you want to send a letter from US to Bangladesh in 50 minutes,’ he said. He added that someone might have later written the date on the letter.
When his attention was called to his telephonic conversation with Sohel Taj, Hamid said, ‘You see, telephonic conversation does not prove that the letter was his. He might be under pressure from someone at the other end of the telephone.’
‘When we talked, I asked him to submit his resignation letter, written by himself, in person,’ he added.
He also doubted the identity of Abu Kawsar who handed in the letter to the speaker’s secretariat. ‘I was trying to reach him over phone but his phone was switched off.’
When his attention was called to the speaker’s decision, Sohel Taj told New Age over telephone, ‘This is nothing but a childish decision of the speaker.’
‘I talked with the speaker over phone twice and confirmed that it was my resignation letter and the signature on the letter was mine,’ Sohel Taj said.
As for speaker’s claim that Sohel needs to submit the resignation letter in person, he said, ‘I told the speaker that there is no need for a submission in person in line with a High Court judgement of 1995.’
Asked what he would do now, he said, ‘I am stunned at the speaker’s decision. I do not know exactly what I should do now.’
Sohel gave no reasons for his resignation even as a lawmaker, signalling his retirement from active politics.
He also issued an open letter to his followers at Kapasia in Gazipur where he said he had made the decision after giving it the ‘thought’ it warranted but did not elaborate on the reasons.
Article 67(2) of the constitution says, ‘A member of parliament may resign his seat by writing under his hand addressed to the speaker, and the seat shall become vacant when the writing is received by the speaker or, if the office of speaker is vacant or the speaker is for any reason unable to perform his functions, by the deputy speaker.’
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