POST TIME: 14 December, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Khaleda expresses no confidence in HC bench

Khaleda expresses 
no confidence in 
HC bench

Lawyers of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday (Thursday) expressed no confidence in the third High Court (HC) bench of Justice JBM Hassan, who was assigned by the Chief Justice for final disposal of the three writ petitions filed by Khaleda Zia in connection with the cancellation of her nomination papers. Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain assigned Justice JBM Hassan after a division bench of the HC delivered a split order over the candidature of Khaleda Zia for the upcoming Jatiya Sangsad elections, slated to be held on December 30.

During yesterday’s proceedings, advocate AJ Mohammad Ali, counsel for the BNP chief, told the court that they have no confidence in Justice JBM Hassan, since a judge senior to him had allowed Khaleda to contest polls.

Khaleda’s counsel said it is the practice that a senior judge would hear any  petition which had faced a split order. Hence, they expressed their preference for a senior judge who would be senior to the judges of the previous bench for hearing on the petition.

Following the BNP lawyer’s prayer, the third bench fixed December 17 for its order on the matters.

The bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir passed a split order on the same writ petitions on December 11. Justice Refaat Ahmed is senior to Justice JMB

Hasan. AJ Mohammad Ali told reporters that they will apply to the Chief Justice to assign another HC bench for hearing the petition.

After coming out of the court, barrister Badruddoza Badal, one of the counsel for Khaleda, told reporters that as per Supreme Court practice, a senior judge should hear any petition on which a dissenting order has been passed.

Therefore, a judge senior to Justice Refaat should hear the writ petitions, he added.

On Tuesday, the HC bench comprising Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir delivered a split order on the BNP chief’s petitions.

Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed, the senior judge of the bench, directed the EC to accept the nomination papers of Khaleda and allow her to contest the December 30 general elections. The judge also issued a rule asking the EC to explain why its decision on the nomination papers of Khaleda Zia should not be declared illegal.

On the other hand, the junior judge of the bench—Justice Md Iqbal Kabir—disagreed with the senior judge’s order and rejected her petitions.

Khaleda, a former prime minister, on Sunday filed the petitions also seeking HC directives to the EC to accept the nomination papers so that she can contest from Bogura-6, Bogura-7 and Feni-1 constituencies.

Khaleda Zia was jailed for five years on February 8 this year in relation to the Zia Orphanage Trust embezzlement case. Her punishment was doubled by the HC on October 30. A day before that, she was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment by a special court, also in connection with the Zia Charitable Trust embezzlement case.