Leave to appeal hearing on oath of 290 MPs begin

Supreme Court of BangladeshFile Photo

Hearing on a leave to appeal plea against the rejection of a writ about swearing in of 290 MPs elected in the 11th parliamentary election and legitimacy of their continuation in the post has begun.

A seven-member full bench of the Appellate Division led by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique started hearing the appeal on Thursday.

The court, however, has adjourned the hearing until Sunday at the appeal of the defence lawyer Mahbub Uddin Khokon seeking some time for preparation.

Additional attorney general Sheikh Mohammad Morshed represented the state in the court.

Supreme Court lawyer Taherul Islam filed the writ petition challenging the legality of taking oath of 290 MPs who were elected in the 11th Jatiya Sangsad election and staying in the post on 20 January, 2019. It was claimed in the writ that that MPs elected in the 11th parliament polls took charge through swearing in before the tenure of 10th parliament ended.

The High Court on 18 February that year rejected the writ outright. Taherul Islam submitted a leave appeal plea against the order that year.

The plea was appeared in the cause list of chamber court of the Appellate Division on 12 June but the chamber court send it for hearing in the regular bench of the Appellate Division that day.

Following this, the leave to appeal again appeared in the cause list of Appellate Division on 23 July. The defence lawyer pleaded for time that day too. Then the court fixed 27 July for hearing of the leave to appeal plea in the full bench on 27 July.

Defence lawyer Mahbub Uddin read out the verdict of the High Court in this regard.

He said an MP is elected for five years. MPs of the next parliament took oath 25 days before the completion of the tenure of ongoing parliament that time. What does it mean if MPs of next parliament swear in before completion of tenure of ongoing parliament?

To this the court said, “You do the election. You all become the MPs.”

At a stage of hearing Mahbub Uddin said let’s call it a day today. He also pleaded for time for preparation.

The court then said did you present the matter at chamber court for hearing?

“I did,” responded Mahbub Uddin.

The court then remarked, “You have preparation. That is why you have applied for a hearing. The matter will appear in Sunday’s cause list.”

The 11th parliamentary election was held on 30 December, 2018. Awami League secured a landslide victory in the polls.

The MPs of 11th parliament took oath on 3 January, 2019. The first session of that parliament took place on 30 January that year.