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AD to sit today to hear govt appeal
The Appellate Division judge in chamber is scheduled for today to sit in the court despite weekend to hear a government appeal for staying a High Court that stayed conviction and sentence of BNP leader Sabira Sultana enabling her to contest the national election.
Justice Hasan Foez Siddique will sit in the court at 10:00am today to hear the government petition, a court official told on Friday.
Sabira’s lawyer Khandaker Bahar Rumy said that attorney general Mahbubey Alam informed him about the hearing.
He said that as he requested the attorney general to move the petition on Sunday as his seniors were out of the capital, Mahbubey Alam told him that the judge asked him to inform the matter to the counsel.
‘The sitting of the judge during weekend is a mala fide abuse of power by the attorney general,’ the counsel said.
He referred to Rile 4 of Order XI, rule 4 of the Appellate Division rules that stipulated, ‘The court shall not ordinarily sit on Fridays and Saturdays and on any other days notified as court holiday in official gazette.’
Mahbubey Alam told reporters that the judge in chamber allowed the government to file the provisional appeal against the High Court order considering urgency and public importance of the matter.
On Thursday, the High Court bench of Justice Md Rais Uddin stayed Sabira’s conviction and sentence after hearing her application filed on October 14.
Sabira’s lawyers told reporters that the High Court order paved the way for convicts to contest general election with their appeals pending with the court.
Earlier on Tuesday, the High Court bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice KM Hafizul Alam ruled that any person jailed for two years would not be able to contest the elections.
The bench issued the ruling rejecting five applications of BNP leaders AZM Zahid Hossain, Aman Ullah Aman, Mashiur Rahman, MA Wahhab and Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan sought for staying their convictions and sentences to enable them to contest the general election.
In the hearing, convicts’ lawyers argued that Section 426 of the Code of Criminal Procedure empowered appellate courts to stay or suspend convictions and sentences during pendency of appeals.
They cited an order of the Appellate Division that had allowed convicted Awami League leader Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir to contest elections in 2008.
He also cited several decisions of the Supreme Court of India allowing convicts’ to contest election by staying convictions and sentences.