HC defers plea for ending Jamaat’s registration

The High Court on Monday adjourned the hearing of the writ petition
seeking termination of registration of Jamaat-e-Islami until Apr 9.The larger bench of Justices M Enayetur Rahim, M Moazzam Husain and
Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque set the new date after Jamaat’s lawyer Barrister
Abdur Razzaq pleaded for time.
The bench was formed on Sunday to hear the writ seeking termination of
Jamaat’s registration.
Barrister Tania Amir represented the petitioners on Monday.
On Sunday, after an initial hearing on the writ, the special bench of
Justices M Moazzam Husain and Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque said it was sending
the case for hearing to a larger bench after observing that it needed
more detailed consideration of constitutional and legal issues.
Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain formed the larger bench on Sunday
afternoon attaching Justice M Enayetur Rahim to the special bench.
The High Court, in a rule on Jan 27, 2009, had asked the authorities
to explain why the registration of the party would not be a violation
of the existing laws in response to the writ petition filed by
Bangladesh Tarikat Federation Secretary General Syed Rezaul Haque
Chandpuri, Zaker Party Secretary General Munsi Abdul Latif, Sammilita
Islami Jote President Ziaul Haque and 22 others.
The petition questioned Jamaat’s registration as a political outfit
alleging violation of the legal authority and provisions of the
Representation of the People Order, under which a party needs to be
The High Court bench of Justices Mohammad Abdul Hye and ABM Khairul
Haque had sought responses from Jamaat chief Motiur Rahman Nizami,
Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed and the Election
Commission Secretary within six weeks.
Later, the rule was shifted to the bench headed by Justice AHM
Shamsuddin Choudhury. Amidst the hearing, jurisdiction of the bench
was changed.
Barrister Tania Amir told bdnews24.com: “We received no answers from
the defendants since 2009… However during the hearing, Khandaker
Mahbub Hossain and Barrister Abdur Razzaq had responded for Jamaat.”
The petition argued that Jamaat could not be enlisted due to four reasons.
Firstly, they do not believe that people were the source of all powers
thereby refuting the absolute authority of the chosen representatives
for making laws; secondly, through activities and beliefs, ‘Jamaat was
a communal party’ though no law under Representation of the People
Order, allows a communal party to register; thirdly, no women or
non-Muslim could be part of the Jamaat hierarchy, although the law
states that political parties should be free from discrimination; and
fourthly, Jamaat has branches globally and they themselves are formed
from a foreign (India) branch. The law prohibits any political outfit
with foreign branch to register.
“The Jamaat’s Indonesia chief has been convicted for a bomb explosion
, they (Jamaat) are involved in terrorism also in Pakistan,” Tania
Amir said.
Petitioners brought the matter up again in light of the recent demands
seeking a ban on Jamaat.
“Jamaat may not be banned in line with this writ petition, but a
verdict will take it one step ahead… We are highlighting the fact that
Jamaat have no right to register… Maybe Jamaat is also to be held
responsible for other crimes,” Amir said.
The lawyer maintained actions should be taken against Jamaat for
crimes against humanity during the Liberation War under the
International Crimes Tribunals Act. Steps could also be taken under
the Anti-terrorism Act, 2009, she said.
“These are not to be seen as either or… Actions should be taken under both.”
The government had amended ICT laws recently allowing scope to try an
organisation for war crimes.
(Source: bdnews24.com)

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