Bdeshs top Islamist party declared illegal
Dhaka: In a landmark ruling, Bangladesh's
biggest right-wing party Jamaat-e-Islami was today declared "illegal" by
the High Court which banned it from contesting future polls, leaving the
once-most powerful fundamentalist party with an uncertain future.
is hereby declared illegal," said Moazzem Husain, the chief judge of a
High Court panel hearing the case amid tight security outside the
"By majority, rule is made absolute and
registration given to Jamaat by the Election Commission is declared
illegal and void," Justice Husain said.
The verdict will prevent
the Islamist party from contesting the forthcoming parliament election due
end of this year or early next.
The bench of justices Husain, M
Enayetur Rahim and Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque pronounced the judgement accepting
a writ petition that challenged the legality of Jamaat-e-Islami's
registration as a political party.
Federation's Secretary General Rezaul Haque Chandpuri and 24 others had
filed the writ petition on January 25, 2009. Tariqat is a group that
preaches Sufi philosophy and promotes secularism.
petition, they said Jamaat-e-Islami was a religion-based political party
and it did not believe in independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh.
Tariqat Federation claimed in the petition that the Representation of
People Order (RPO) law does not allow the registration of a communal
outfit as a political party.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said
the verdict meant Jamaat would no more be qualified to contest the general
Police and elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion
(RAB) men enforced a strict vigil around the court complex as tensions
mounted ahead of the verdict while officials said they also kept prepared
extra forces to face any law and order situation.
But no street
protest was staged by Jamaat, a crucial ally of main opposition Bangladesh
Nationalist Party (BNP) headed by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. .
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