The senior judge of a two-member High Court bench yesterday ruled in favour of BNP chief Khaleda Zia's participation in the national election, but the junior judge disagreed with him.
Following the split order, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain would assign another HC bench to hear and dispose of Khaleda's three writ petitions, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told reporters at his office.
The BNP chairperson had filed the petitions on Sunday challenging the Election Commission's rejection of her appeals against cancellation of her three nomination papers (Bogura-6, 7 and Feni-1) by returning officers.
Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed, senior judge of the HC bench, wanted to direct the EC to accept Khaleda's nominations and allow her to contest the December 30 polls.
He also wanted to issue a rule on the EC asking it to explain why its decision on Khaleda's nominations should not be declared illegal.
However, Justice Md Iqbal Kabir Lytton, junior judge of the bench, disagreed on the senior judge's order.
Meanwhile, Khaleda's lawyer Kayser Kamal yesterday expressed hope that his client would get justice from the HC bench which would dispose of the writ petitions.
Khaleda in the petitions sought HC directives on the EC to accept her nomination papers so that she could contest the national election.
She also prayed to the HC to issue a rule on the commission asking why its decisions on her nominations should not be declared illegal, Kayser told this correspondent on Monday.
After concluding the hearing on the petitions, the HC on Monday fixed yesterday for passing orders on those.
Khaleda landed in jail on February 8 after a special court in Dhaka had sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. The HC later extended her jail term to 10 years.
On October 29, the BNP chief was sentenced to seven years' rigorous imprisonment by the same court in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
HC ORDER ON HAWLADER
Another HC bench yesterday dropped from its cause list a writ petition filed by Ruhul Amin Hawlader, special assistant to the Jatiya Party chairman, challenging the EC's rejection of his candidature for Patuakhali-1.
The bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Shohrowardi made the petition “out of list” as they didn't find any reason for passing an order in favour of Hawlader, Deputy Attorney General Amatul Karim Swapna told The Daily Star.
She said the JP leader could not take part in the polls following the HC order. However, he could file the same writ petition with another HC bench for an order.
Hawlader, a presidium member of the JP and also an MP, submitted the writ petition to the HC on Saturday seeking its directives on the EC to accept his nomination papers.
SC ORDER ON DULU, TUKU
The Supreme Court yesterday stayed for a day the HC orders that directed the EC to accept the nomination papers of BNP leaders Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu and Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku and to allow them to contest the election.
Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, chamber judge of the Appellate Division, passed the order following two petitions filed by the EC seeking stay on the HC orders.
The chamber judge also forwarded the EC's petitions to the apex court's full bench for their hearing today.
Following two writ petitions, the HC bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik-Al Jalil on Monday directed the EC to accept the nominations of Dulu and Tuku and to allow them to contest the polls as the HC had earlier suspended their convictions and sentences in separate criminal cases.
The EC yesterday filed two petitions with the SC seeking stay on the HC orders.
Lawyers AF Hasan Ariff, Fida M Kamal and Aminul Haque Helal appeared for Dulu and Tuku.
Meanwhile, an Appellate Division bench of the SC, headed by the chief justice, yesterday upheld a HC order that stayed the EC's decision to accept the nomination papers of BNP candidate Ali Asgar for Mymensingh-1.
The HC on Sunday stayed the EC's decision following a writ petition filed by Farmers Bank which claimed that Asgar was a loan defaulter.
The apex court yesterday dismissed a petition filed by Asgar seeking stay on the HC order, his lawyer AF Hasan Ariff said.
CHAMBER JUDGE STAYS HC ORDERS
The SC chamber judge yesterday stayed for two days the HC orders that directed the EC to accept the nomination papers of BNP candidates Badal Sarker and Abdul Muhit Talukder and allow them to contest the polls.
Justice Hasan Foez Siddique passed the orders following two petitions filed by the EC seeking stay on the HC orders.
He also sent the petitions to the full bench of the apex court for their hearing tomorrow (Thursday).
Quamrun Mahmud Deepa, a lawyer for the EC, said the decision whether Badal and Muhit could run in the polls would depend on the order of the full bench of the Appellate Division.
The EC recently upheld the ROs' orders rejecting their nominations on grounds that Badal and Muhit were holding profitable posts --chairmen of two upazila parishads in Bogura, she told The Daily Star.
Following two writ petitions, the HC on Sunday had directed the EC to accept their nomination papers and allow them to contest the upcoming election.
HC STAYS EC DECISIONS
Yesterday, the HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam stayed the EC decisions that allowed BNP nominees Tamiz Uddin and Golam Rabbani to contest the polls from Dhaka-20 and Rangpur-5 respectively.
The bench passed the orders following two writ petitions filed by AL candidate Benzir Ahmed for Dhaka-20 and Jatiya Party candidate Mesbahur Rahman for Rangpur-5 respectively.
In the petitions, they challenged the EC's decision to allow Tamiz and Rabbani to contest the December 30 polls claiming that the two were holding profitable posts (the offices of upazila chairman), Deputy Attorney General Motaher Hossain Sazu told The Daily Star.
He said the HC bench also rejected a writ petition filed by Hamidur Rahman, a candidate for Cox's Bazar-2, seeking its directive on the EC to allocate “sheaf of paddy” to him as his polls symbol.