Convicted former DAB president Zahid not allowed by AD to contest election

29 Nov,2018


BNP leader and former president of the Doctors’ Association of Bangladesh AZM Zahid Hossain, jailed for 10 years in 2008 was on Wednesday not allowed by the Appellate Division to contest the general election during pendency of his appeal.
A seven-judge bench chaired by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain issued ‘No order’ on Zahid Hossain’s provisional appeal against the High Court Division’s ruling rejecting his application to stay his conviction and the jail term.
Later, the attorney general told reporters that there was no scope for any convict to contest the general election after the Appellate Division upheld the High Court Division’s order.

On Tuesday, an HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice KM Hafizul Alam in a new ruling disqualified anyone sentenced to two years’ jail for criminal offence under Article 66(2) (d) of the Constitution. 
The bench issued the ruling after rejecting five applications in which BNP leaders Zahid, Aman Ullah Aman, Mashiur Rahman, MA Wahhab and Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan sought stay of their convictions and sentences to enable them to contest the general election.
During the hearing at the Appellate Division the chief justice said that there was no scope to suspend or stay convictions under the existing laws during pendency of appeals.
When the bench wanted to know how former military dictator HM Ershad and Awami League leader Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir contested general election as convicts, attorney general Mahbubey Alam submitted that though Ershad was allowed to contest the poll held on June 12, 1996 during pendency of his appeal, his parliament membership was declared unconstitutional after his sentence was upheld by the Appellate Division.
But he could provide no reply to the query how Muhidduin Khan Alamgir contested the election during pendency of his appeal against conviction with 10 years’ jail term in corruption case. 
As Rokanuddin Mahmud submitted that the Appellate Division has the power to stay convictions, the bench it might happen in a rare case.
Zahid’s lawyer Rokanuddin Mahmud argued how could the High Court Division disqualify anyone seeking candidature as it was the jurisdiction of returning officers. 
He submitted that the High Court Division had the jurisdiction only to suspended or stay convictions with jail terms.
He submitted that the main opposition BNP nominated Zahid to contest the Mymensingh 4 constituency of Parliament.

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