In answer to a writ petition filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia regarding the validity of the Election Commission’s invitation to talks on electoral reform, The High Court gave a ruling that the letter to the BNP Acting Secretary General Hafizuddin Ahmed was legal. In response to this dismissal, supporters of Khaleda Zia shouted slogans in The High Court premises. Dhaka, Bangladesh. April 10 2008,Photo- Munir uz Zaman/*Drik*NEWS.
The High Court dismissed Khaleda Zia’s writ petition challenging the validity of the Election Commission’s invitation and ruled that initiating M Hafiz Uddin Ahmed was legal.
The High Court bench comprising two judges, Mirza Hossain Haider and Mamnun Rahman, handed down the verdict Thursday, in favour of the invitation to the party’s government-backed splinter faction led by acting chairperson M Saifur Rahman and M Hafiz Uddin Ahmed.
The Election Commission could not finalise the electoral reforms laws after its planned dialogue with the BNP stalled.
The commission was scheduled to publish a gazette notification on the electoral reforms laws in March, following dialogues with the major political parties in September, October and November, as per its roadmap declared on July 15, 2007.
After the first round of talks with 15 political parties the commission wrapped up the second round of talks in February, excluding BNP in both rounds due to the legal wrangle over the EC’s invitation.
The commission would hold its dialogue with the BNP, accepting the court verdict, and would not file any further appeal regarding which faction the verdict favours, the CEC said.
Thursday’s High Court verdict dismissing Khaleda’s petition has deprived the BNP of a fair deal, Khandakar Delwar Hossain told reporters after the ruling.
‘The High Court verdict denied the mainstream BNP justice,’ BNP’s said the party secretary general.
‘As Khaleda herself had filed the writ petition, the next steps in this regard will have to be taken after consultation with lawyers,’ Delwar said.
He called upon the party leaders and activists to forge a strong leadership network under BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.
He said conspirators have been active against BNP and the country — what has happened so far is only a part of those conspiratorial machinations.
The press briefing was also attended by BNP acting office secretary Rizvi Ahmed and former lawmaker Selim Reza Habib, among others.
And the government-backed faction’s acting secretary general Hafiz Uddin was happy at the High Court verdit.
‘We have got justice,’ Hafiz said in exclamation and adding that BNP will be run by Khaleda Zia.
‘We want to sit for dialogue with the Election Commission with a united BNP delegation after consulting with senior leaders including Khandaker Delwar Hossain and ASM Hannan Shah,’ Hafiz said.