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Legitimacy of Bangladesh's Jamaat-e-Islami to be decided
Publication Date : 06-03-2013
Bangladesh's High Court (HC) may decide about legitimacy of the Islamist Jamaat-e Islami party as it is expected to soon settle a four-year-old petition filed over the legality of the party’s registration.
Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain yesterday formed an HC bench comprised of Justice M Moazzam Husain and Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque to dispose of the petition.
The chief justice constituted the bench as the petitioners’ counsel Barrister Tania Amir on February 18 submitted an application to his office to that end.
The petition will now come up in the cause list of the bench, which would fix a date for hearing the matter, Tania Amir told The Daily Star yesterday.
Following the writ petition, the HC in January 2009 asked the government, the Election Commission and Jamaat to explain why the party’s registration with the EC should not be declared illegal.
Sources in the HC said neither the EC nor Jamaat has replied to the rule so far.
Tania Amir yesterday said if the HC endorsed the petition through hearing, activities of Jamaat would be severely limited and the party would not be allowed to contest an election. Besides, Jamaat would not be entitled to get police protection for conducting any meeting and enforcing any strikes, she added.
She said the demand of the time was to ban Jamaat as a terrorist outfit which the government could do under the Anti-Terrorist Act, 2009 by following legal procedures.
Jamaat has recently undertaken a series of terrorist acts in a systematic manner including burning the national flag, attacks on the Shaheed Minar and journalists, and violent activities in front of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, Tania observed.
Jamaat’s lawyer Tajul Islam said they would make a reply to the rule over legality of the party’s registration before the HC during hearing.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said his office was ready to support the writ petition before the HC while hearing on the matter.
Responding to the writ filed by Bangladesh Tarikat Federation’s Secretary General Rezaul Haque Chandpuri and 24 others, the HC bench of Justice ABM Khairul Haque and Justice Md Abdul Hye on January 27, 2009 issued the rule over legality of Jamaat’s registration.
The matter was not disposed of then due to reconstitution of powers of the HC bench.
The petitioners had stated that Jamaat was a religion-based political party, which does not believe in independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh in violation of the Constitution and the spirit of the Representation of People Order (RPO) Ordinance, 2008.
They also said as per the rules of the Constitution of Bangladesh, political parties cannot have an office abroad, but Jamaat was floated in India and has party offices in other countries.
Jamaat was granted registration as a political party by the EC on November 4, 2008.
The petitioners filed the writ with the HC on January 25, 2009 challenging legality of EC’s action.