SC rejects leave to appeal, orders petitioner to pay Tk 100,000

The High CourtFile photo

The Appellate Division has upheld the High Court order that rejected a writ petition filed over announcing Mohammed Shahabuddin elected as the president of Bangladesh. The apex court has also rejected a leave to appeal petition against the HC order and asked the petitioner to pay Tk 100,000 to the state exchequer.

The 8-member Appellate Division led by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique passed the order on Thursday morning, said the lawyers who represented the state in the court.

The election commission (EC) issued a gazette notification on 13 February announcing Mohammed Shahabuddin as elected in the president post. Following this two separate writ petitions were filed challenging the legality of the EC’s gazette notification.

The High Court held a hearing on the two writ petitions and rejected them on 15 March.

Supreme Court lawyer MA Aziz Khan filed one of the petitions while six SC lawyers, including Abdul Momen Chowdhury, filed the other writ petition on the EC’s gazette notification.

Mohammed Shahabuddin took oath as 22nd President of Bangladesh on 24 April. The High Court published its full order on the rejection of writs on the same day.

Later, lawyer MA Aziz Khan filed the leave to appeal petition against the HC order and EC’s gazette notification published on 13 February. He, at the same time, appealed to keep the president post vacant to hold the election anew.

The matter was raised at the Chamber Court of the Appellate Division on 15 May. Mentioning that the appeal is based on false premises, the Chamber Court on 15 May did not accept it and sent to the regular bench of the Appellate Division for hearing on 18 May.

Lawyer MA Aziz Khan himself took part in the hearing while attorney general AM Amin Uddin and deputy attorney general Amit Talukder represented the state.

The full verdict of the High Court that rejected the writ said as the Head of the State, the President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh holds ‘the office of profit’, but ‘it is not an office of profit in the service of the Republic’ and the procedures of assuming his office of the President is not like the same who serves in the service of the Republic.

The order also said, “Moreover, the rules and regulations like the other service holders/employees in the service of the Republic regarding regulating the functions are not similar to those of the President.”

The court order further said, “… the ‘election’ and ‘appointment’ do not carry the same meaning as per the Constitution. The President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh is the elected representative and the ‘symbol of the unity’ of Bangladesh, and the individuals who serves in the Republic according to the Part IX of the Constitution are the appointed employees in the service of the Republic.”