Md. Abu Safa Vs. Abdul Momen Chowdhury and others, V ADC (2008) 64

Case No: Civil Petition for Leave to Appeal No. 766 of 2005

Judge: Syed JR Mudassir Husain ,

Court: Appellate Division ,,

Advocate: Mr. Ajmalul Hossain QC,,

Citation: V ADC (2008) 64

Case Year: 2008

Appellant: Md. Abu Safa

Respondent: Abdul Momen Chowdhury

Subject: Election Matter,

Delivery Date: 2006-4-6

Supreme Court of Bangladesh
Appellate Division
(Civil)
 
Present:
Syed J.R. Mudassir Husain, CJ.
MM Ruhul Amin, J.
Amirul Kabir Chowdhury, J.
 
Md. Abu Safa
…………………….Petitioner
Vs
Abdul Momen Chowdhury and others
…………..………..Respondents
 
Judgment
April 6, 2006.
 
Constitution of Bangladesh, 1972
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)
 
Lawyers Involved:
Ajmalul Hossain, Senior Advocate, instructed by Md. Nawab Ali, Advocate-On-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).
 
JUDGMENT
 
Syed J. R. Mudassir Husain CJ.
 
1. The petitioner as a public interest litigant is seeking leave to appeal against the judg­ment and order dated 24th May, 2005 passed by a Division 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.1, 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 of 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, inter alia, 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 our 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.

Preparation of paper book is dispensed with as prayed for.
 
Ed.