The Supreme Court yesterday asked the chief election commissioner (CEC) to send nomination paper of BNP leader Mirza Abbas to the returning officer (RO) concerned for scrutiny within 24 hours.
The SC also said the RO has to complete the scrutiny in 24 hours after receiving the nomination paper.
A six-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, issued the verdict after hearing a petition of the government, challenging a previous High Court order.
On December 4, the HC asked the CEC to immediately send Abbas' nomination paper to the RO for scrutiny and set 24 hours for the RO to complete the scrutiny.
Opposing the HC order during yesterday's hearing at the SC, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said both the SC and the Election Commission are constitutional independent bodies. And, if the HC order remains in force, the EC will not be able to function independently.
Advocate Zainul Abedin, lawyer for Abbas, argued that it is a citizens' right to be able to file a nomination paper. Hence, the RO's refusal to receive Abbas' nomination paper was illegal.
Meanwhile, the HC asked the ROs concerned to receive and scrutinise in 12 hours the nomination papers of Sadakat Khan Sakku (independent) for Dhaka-16, Md Azharul Islam (Gono Forum) for Kishoreganj-1 and M Shafiur Rahman Khan Bachchu (Gono Forum) for Kishoreganj-2 constituencies.
The HC bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Shohrowardi delivered the judgement after hearing three writ petitions filed by the aspirants, saying that on November 28, their respective ROs refused to receive their nomination papers on the ground of delayed submission.
In another development, the RO of Rangpur yesterday rejected the nomination paper of BNP nominated candidate and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Golam Rabbani because he did not submit the acceptance copy of his resignation from the post of upazila chairman, reports our Dinajpur correspondent.