Govt Officials Can't Run In Polls Within 3 Years Of Retirement: HC

Desk Report

Published: 04 Dec 2023, 12:57 pm

High Court || File Photo

High Court || File Photo

The High Court on Monday (December 4) rejected four separate writ petitions that challenged the provision which prohibited government officials from contesting the national elections in three years of retirement.

The HC bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Kazi Zinat Hoque delivered the verdict after hearing arguments from the lawyers concerned on the matter.

Following the HC verdict, government officials cannot contest the national elections less than three years after retirement from the service, Deputy Attorney General Amit Das Gupta told the press.

The HC observed that the former government officials are not ordinary citizens and they may have influence in the offices immediately after retirement.

So, there is no illegality in section 12(1) (f) of the Representation of People Order, (RPO), 1972, that prohibited government officials from contesting JS polls in three years after retirement, DAG Amit Das Gupta added.

The full text of the HC verdict was not released yet.

On November 29, the HC bench concluded hearing on the writ petitions and kept those as Curia Advisari Vult, a Latin legal term meaning "verdict could be delivered any time" after hearing on the rule, he added.

Following the petitions filed by Md Shamim Kamal, Md Abdul Mannan, Ataur Rahman Prodhan and Ratan Chandra Pandit, HC on different days issued separate rules questioning the provision of section 12(1) (f) of the Representation of People Order, (RPO), 1972, that prohibited former government officials from contesting JS polls during the three years after retirement.

In the rules, the HC asked the government and EC to explain why the provision should not be declared illegal and unconstitutional.

The petitioner has stated in the petition that the right to vote is a fundamental aspect of the constitution; prohibiting government employees from voting in the parliamentary election right after retirement or resignation violates both the basic principles and the right to equality guaranteed by Article 27 of the Constitution.

Senior lawyers Tanya Amir, Prabir Neogi, and Mohammad Sayed Ahmed Raza appeared for the writ petitioners, while senior lawyer Khan Mohammad Shameem Aziz appeared for Election Commission and Attorney General AM Amin Uddin and DAG Amit Das Gupta represented the state during the hearings.

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