Appellate Division Cases
Md. Abu Safa …………………….. Petitioner.
Abdul Momen Chowdhury and others……………………… Respondents.
Syed J.R. Mudassir Husain CJ
M.M. Ruhul Amin J
Amirul Kabir Chowahury J
Order Dated: 6th April 2006
The Constitution Article 21 (a), 66
Bangladesh Election Commission to show cause as to why they should not be directed to know the information from the intending candidates for the election to the Parliament…………. (2)
Ajmalul Hossain, Senior Advocate, instructed by Md. Nawab AH, AdvocateOn-
Record………………………………………. For the Petitioner
Not Represented………………………. —For the Respondent
Civil Petition for Leave to Appeal No. 766 of 2005
(From the judgment and order dated 24th May, 2005 passed by the High Court Division in Writ Petition No. 2561 of 2005)
Syed J. R. Mudassir Husain CJ. The petitioner as i public interest litigant is seeking leave to appeal against the judgment and ordr-r dated 24th May, 2005 passed by a Dr. ision Bench of the High Court Division in Writ Petition No. 2561 of 2005 making the Rule absolute.
2. The respondent Nos. 1-3 as writ petitioners filed the above writ petition, in the form of mandamus calling upon the writ respondent No.l, the Government of Bangladesh represented by the Chief Election Commissioner and Respondent No.2 Bangladesh Election Commission to show cause as to why they should not be directed to know the information from the intending candidates for the election to the Parliament regarding:
a) Academic qualification.
b) Whether he is accused in any criminal case at present.
c) Whether there was any past record of criminal case and the result.
d) Profession / Occupation.
e) Source or sources of income.
f) Whether he was Parliament Member earlier and the role he played individually and collectively in fulfilling the commitment to the people.
g) Description oi’ assets and liabilities of the candidate and dependent of the candidate.
h) Particulars and amount of loan taken from Bank or Financial Institutions deals with public money personally, jointly or by dependent or loan taken by the Company from Bank where the candidate is Chairman, or Managing Director or Director etc.
3. The above writ petition was filed by Mr. Abdul Momen Chowdhury and two other learned Advocates of this Court in the form of Public Interest Litigation, stating to the effect, that they are committed social workers and political activists for bringing social, economical and political justice to the people. The petitioners case is they filed the writ petition out of their sense of duty as mandated by Article 21(1) of the Constitution and asserted that the voters are of utmost importance in parliamentary election and they have the right to elect or reject a candidate on the basis of their antecedents and past performance in order to see as the whether the candidates are competent to discharge their function as lawmaker and represent the people in the House of the Nation in the
Parliament. The further case of the respondent Nos. 1-3 as writ petitioner is that the
Election Commission should consider and it is imperative upon them to see that the
musclemen, black-marketers, uneducated persons should not have,any chance of being elected as representatives of the people and that if unscrupulous persons are elected, they will make provision for their self-aggrandizement and will not represent the people by whom they are made representatives .The respondent-writ petitioners further stated that the voters are entitled to know all the above particulars of the candidates.
4. No affidavit-in-opposition was filed on behalf of the respondents. However, the writ petition was heard and upon hearing the parties the learned Judges of the High Court Division made the Rule absolute by the impugned judgment as aforesaid. Being aggrieved, the petitioner also as public interest litigant has filed this leave petition, contending, interalia. that he is a dedicated political and social worker in his constituency. He was son of poor man and by dint of his own perseverance and hard work, he made his fortune. However, the petitioner could not pursue his education more than Class-VIII; that after good deal of struggle he built up his career. He is also well known for his social works; that by his own merit and philanthropic activities he is very popular and credible
leader in his locality; that although he himself could not enlighten himself with formal institutional education but he is associated with various schools and colleges in his locality. By his own effort and merit, he got himself groomed up with informal education.
5. The leave petitioner further stated that being a very active social worker, he emerged to be a prominent leader. He has long cherished that he would be a Member of Parliament to serve the people in a much broader dimension.
6. As a conscious citizen as well as a probable candidate in ensuing election he is
genuinely aggrieved by the direction given in the impugned judgment of the High Court Division, Hence this leave petition.
7. Mr. Ajmalul Hossain, the learned Counsel appearing for the leave petitioner, placed before us the impugned judgment and order of the High Court Division and urged the following grounds for cmr consideration;
1) The impugned directions for disclosure in the Parliamentary Election by the candidates
is ultra virus of the Article 66 of the Constitution and the said direction for disclosure impairs the basic structure of democracy and Article 66 of the Constitution.
2) The impugned direction as to disclosure of academic qualification draws a dividing
line between candidates of different qualifications and thus is discriminatory in nature and therefore the said direction is liable to be reversed.
8. The submissions made under the above grounds deserve consideration. Accordingly, leave is granted.
9. Security of Tk. 1000/- is to be deposited within one month.
10. Preparation of paper book is dispensed with as prayed for.
Source : V ADC (2008), 64