MP convicted by any sovereign state for moral turpitude will be disqualified: HC
The High Court today observed that if any court of a sovereign state of the world convicts and sentences a lawmaker of Bangladesh for two years or more in prison for moral turpitude, he/she becomes disqualified to hold the office.
With this observation, the HC summarily rejected a writ petition filed challenging legality of decisions for announcing Lakshmipur-2 constituency vacant and the schedule for holding by-election to this constituency on June 21.
Mohammad Shahid Islam, also known as Kazi Papul, was elected as an independent lawmaker from Lakshmipur-2 constituency and a Kuwaiti court on January 28 sentenced him and several others to four years in jail in a bribery case.
Today, the HC bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Kamrul Hossain Mollah passed the rejection order also saying the writ petitioners have no locus standite (quality) to move such a petition as they are not persons aggrieved due to the decisions, petitioners' lawyer Mustafizur Rahman Khan told The Daily Star.
He said the HC bench made the observation in line with article 66(2)(d) of the constitution of Bangladesh.
The article says, "A person shall be disqualified for election as, or for being, a member of parliament who has been, on conviction for a criminal offence involving moral turpitude, sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release."
Kazi Papul's sister Nurunnahar Begum and Shahadat Hossain, a resident of Lakshmipur-2 constituency and proposer for Kazi Papul's nomination, submitted the petition on March 15.
The Parliament Secretariat on February 22 issued a gazette notification announcing that the Lakshmipur-2 constituency fell vacant because of Kazi Papul's moral turpitude.
Citing the petition, lawyer Mustafizur Rahman Khan told The Daily Star that the speaker to Jatiya Sangsad must wait to know whether any appeal of a convicted sitting member of parliament is pending with any court and its result before declaring his JS membership cancelled as per articles 66 and 67 constitution and the rules of businesses of parliament.
But, the speaker of Jatiya Sangsad did not follow these provisions in respect of Kazi Papul's JS membership cancellation, he said.
Mustafizur Rahman said no court of Bangladesh has convicted and sentenced lawmaker Kazi Papul and Kuwait court, which sentenced him, has not officially informed the JS Speaker about his conviction.