DCC polls stay extended for 3 months

The High Court on Monday extended for three months its earlier order that stayed the process for holding elections to the bifurcated Dhaka city corporation for not implementing its earlier directives.

Earlier on April 16, the court, following a writ petition, had stayed the process for holding the DCC polls for three months for not completing the legal procedures.

The DCC polls were scheduled to be held on May 24 as announced by the Election Commission (EC) on April 9.

On Monday, the HC bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar passed the order after hearing a petition seeking extension to its April 16 order.

The three months’ extension will be counted from July 16, as the HC’s previous order remained in force till that day, petitioner’s counsel Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star.

Manzill on Monday told the court that it on April 16 directed that the EC must update the voter lists of the DCC (North and South), and the EC and government authorities also have to determine the number of wards and councillors before three months of the polls as per the electoral rules.

The court had also issued a rule upon the government and the EC to explain why they should not be directed to delimit the areas of DCC wards through appointed officials as per the rules of Local Government (City Corporation) Act, 2009 for holding the elections.

Manzill said that the authorities have neither implemented the earlier HC directives nor replied to its rule.

If the DCC polls are held due to expiry of the three months’ stay order of the HC, its rule issued on April 16 will become ineffective, the counsel said.

Asaduzzaman Siddiqui, general secretary of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) on April 15 filed the writ petition saying that as per the rules of the Local Government (City Corporations) Act, 2009, the government has to determine the number of wards of any new city corporation, demarcate the areas of its wards and publish their names and number through a gazette notification before holding election to it.

The government has not executed the rules of the Act, and therefore the EC cannot hold elections to the new DCC (North and South), the petitioner added.

The Appellate Division of Supreme Court on April 19 upheld the HC’s April 16 order.

News Source: 
The Daily Star