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26 April, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 26 April, 2019 07:40:10 PM
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Article 70 not applicable to oath taking: Dy speaker

Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua differs
RAFIQUL ISLAM AZAD, Dhaka

When his legal opinion is sought whether an MP-elect can take oath defying party decision, the deputy speaker of the parliament yesterday said there will be no violation of the constitution and as such his or her membership will remain safe and sound.

Deputy Speaker Advocate Md Fazle Rabbi Miah said the Article 70 of the constitution will not be applied to this case and there will be no legal impediment.

Miah said the Article 70 of the constitution will be applied to those who will resign or vote in parliament against his/her party decision.

Referring to the oath taking by Zahidur Rahman, who was elected with BNP nomination from Thakurgaon-3 constituency, the deputy speaker also said the BNP may write to the Election Commission to take action against its nominated lawmaker and issue show cause notice on him for ignoring party decision but the lawmaker can take advantage of the fact that he has not violated the Article 70.  

Article 70 of the constitution reads, “A person elected as a member of Parliament at an election at which he was nominated as a candidate by a political party shall vacate his seat if he – (a) resigns from that party ; or (b) votes in Parliament against that party ; but shall not thereby be disqualified for subsequent election as a member of Parliament.”

Deputy Speaker Miah also said intimidating an elected person to carry out his task should be deemed as infringement of his or her rights in violation of the constitution of the country.

He also argued it is the moral obligation for an elected lawmaker to represent his/her constituency.

Following the path of two MPs- Sultan Mohammad Mansur and Mukabber Khan- of Ganaforum, a major component of opposition Jatiya Oikyafront, BNP lawmaker-elect Zahidur Rahman yesterday took oath as a member of parliament.

Former law minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed also said the article 70 of the constitution will not be applied to those who are taking oath by ignoring party decisions.

Barrister Shafique also said it is the moral obligation of an elected representative to serve the people.   

However, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua said that if an MP-elect takes oath in violation of the party decision he or she will not be able to belong to the party in parliament if the party expels him or her.

Regarding the Article 70 of the constitution, Barua said it depends on as to how it will be interpreted in this case. 

Citing the example of the case of the then Awami League lawmaker Abdul Latif Siddiqui in the last parliament, Barrister Barua said after expelling him from the party for his “anti-religion remarks,” the AL wanted to apply the Article 70 of the constitution to scrap his membership. Latif, however, resigned from the post of his parliament membership later on. 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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