Published: November 20, 2023, 08:45 PM
BNP on Monday said Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami was denied justice as the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court dismissed the party’s appeal against the High Court verdict that scrapped its registration with the Election Commission as a political party.
Speaking at a virtual press briefing, party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi also said the instance of depriving anti-government political parties and political figures by giving ‘unjust’ verdicts against them is nothing new in Bangladesh.
“Even though the country’s people are not surprised by this verdict (against Jamaat), they’re disappointed with the politically biased statements and the incident of helping fulfil the wishes of the government by people involved with the judiciary, the last resort for justice,” he said.
The BNP leader said Jamaat has already described the verdict as `devoid of justice`.
He said the example of cancelling the registration of a party which has visibly expanded across the country at almost all levels, from the national parliament to the local government, and the order for registering an unknown political party is not evidence of a just process.
Rizvi also said any opposition party deserves to have its democratic rights protected by the judiciary in a democratic system. “Any exception to this is contrary to democracy and justice. It’s also unacceptable.”
Rizvi also condemned and protested a Dhaka court’s verdict sentencing 14 leaders and activists of BNP, including its joint secretary general Habibun Nabi Khan Sohel to one and a half years of jail in a case filed over obstructing police in conducting their duties.
“These dictated verdicts are well designed to clear the field ahead of the election. If these young leaders can be detained by sentencing them, then Sheikh Hasina`s illegal power will continue for a long time. As part of this plan, these leaders have been sentenced,” he observed.
Earlier on Sunday, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court dismissed the leave-to-appeal filed by Jamaat-e-Islami, challenging a High Court verdict that cancelled its registration with the Election Commission earlier.
A five-member bench led by Chief Justice Obaidul Hassan passed the dismissal order due to the frequent absence of the party’s lawyers, including Advocate AJ Mohammad Ali, during the scheduled dates of the hearing.
In August 2013, the HC declared Jamaat’s registration illegal following a writ petition filed in 2009 by Chandpuri and 24 others. In the petition, they said Jamaat was a religion-based political party and it did not believe in the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh.