Court bars some convicted in emergency rule from Bangladesh polls

Other News Materials 30 November 2008 17:50 (UTC +04:00)

A Bangladeshi court Sunday ruled that those convicted for more than two years under the emergency rule would not be able to run for crucial December 29 parliamentary elections, dpa reported.

The High Court bench comprising justices Nazmun Ara Sultana and Md Rezaul Haque passed the ruling on a writ filed by barrister Nazmul Huda, a former communications minister convicted in a graft case.

It also ruled that those sentenced to less than two years under the Emergency Powers Rules, promulgated by the military-backed government of Fakhruddin Ahmed, may contest the polls in line with constitutional provisions.

"The ruling means that those sentenced to more than two years will not be eligible but those convicted for less than two years will be able to contest elections," the deputy attorney general, JBM Hassan, told reporters after the ruling.

As Huda has been convicted for more than two years in graft cases he will not be able to run for elections, the attorney said. The rule will be applicable to the others as well.

The court ruling came as party aspirants were filing nomination papers Sunday, final date for submission of candidature for the December 29 general election ending two years of emergency rule.

The military-backed government of Fakhruddin Ahmed had detained on graft charges more than 200 politicians of two major parties - the Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party - which had been ruling the South Asian country for nearly two decades.

Many have already been sentenced to prison terms by special courts set up for speedy hearings of corruption cases under the Emergency Powers Rules promulgated by the interim government after it took over last January in the wake of political turmoil.