The High Court has asked the government and the Election Commission to explain why the ruling Awami League leader Nizam Uddin Hazari's parliament seat should not be declared vacant.
The move came following a writ petition claiming that Nizam had resorted to forgery to get out of jail early and run in the January 5 parliamentary polls.
Nizam Hazari, who was elected unopposed from Feni-2 constituency in January 5 elections, is now at the centre of speculations and allegations after the brutal murder of Phulgazi upazila Chairman Ekramul Haq in Feni last month.
Yesterday, the High Court bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar came up with the rule and order after hearing the petition filed by Shakhawat Hossain Bhuiyan, a Jubo League leader of Feni.
Quoting a newspaper report, Shakhawat in his petition said a Chittagong court had sentenced Nizam to 10 years' imprisonment in an arms case on August 16, 2000. He surrendered to the court on September 14, 2000, and was sent to Chittagong jail to serve his term.
But he was in jail for only five years and was released on December 1, 2005, through fraudulence, Shakhawat said.
He said Nizam was supposed to be in jail until September 13, 2010, and he, according to the law, was not supposed to be eligible to run in parliamentary polls before September 2015.
The petitioner said Nizam could not have been a candidate in the parliamentary election of January 5, adding that Nizam had provided false information about serving his jail term to the Election Commission.
The court gave the government, the Election Commission and Nizam to explain within four weeks as to how Nizam was holding the office of MP.
It also ordered the inspector general of prisons and the superintendent of Chittagong jail to submit a report before it within 30 days on how long Nizam served his jail term, petitioner's counsel Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star.