CJ constitutes new bench to hear plea on Khaleda’s candidature

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Staff Reporter:

Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain on Wednesday formed a new bench to hear the petition over BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s candidature in all the three constituencies she submitted nomination papers to contest the upcoming national election.

The Chief Justice formed the one-member bench headed by Justice JBM Hassan.

On Tuesday, the bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir issued a split order on Khaleda Zia’s candidature.

Her nominations for Feni-1, Bogura-6 and 7 constituencies were rejected by returning officers. The Election Commission also upheld the decisions, prompting the former prime minister to move the High Court on Monday.

Senior Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed stayed the EC’s decision and accepted Khaleda’s appeal while Justice Md Iqbal Kabir upheld the decision.

Later, the appeal was sent to the Chief Justice as per rules to form a new bench.

Khaleda was jailed for five years on February 8 this year in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Her jail term was doubled by the High Court on October 30. A day before that, she was sentenced to seven-year imprisonment by a special court in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.

The former prime minister filed nominations for contesting the upcoming national election from the three seats. But election officials declared her ineligible for polls on December 2 since she was convicted in the two graft cases.

Khaleda’s lawyers moved the Election Commission on Wednesday. Barrister Kaisar Kamal filed appeal for Feni-1, while Barrister Nowshad Jamir for Bogura-6 and Advocate Masud Ahmed Talukder for Bogura-7.

On Saturday, the commission upheld the returning officers’ decision.unb

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