HC questions hartal legality
The High Court yesterday issued a rule on the government, the leader of the opposition in parliament, general secretary of the ruling Awami League and secretary general of the opposition BNP to explain within three weeks why enforcing hartal during public examinations should not be declared illegal.
It also asked the political leaders to explain why they should not be directed to refrain from doing so.
The HC came up with the rule following a writ petition filed by Md Younus Ali Akond, a lawyer of the Supreme Court, challenging the legality of enforcing hartal during public examinations.
The HC bench comprising Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik and Justice Jahangir Hossain Selim also requested 15 eminent lawyers to give their opinions as amicus curiae (friend of court) during the hearing of the rule.
The amici curiae include Mahmudul Islam, Rafique-ul Huq, M Amir-Ul Islam, M Zahir, Moudud Ahmed, AF Hasan Ariff, Mahbubey Alam, Akter Imam, Rafique-ul Islam Miah and Abdul Matin Khasru.
Younus Ali Akond filed the writ petition as public interest litigation on April 26 saying that it was the fundamental rights of the students to sit for their scheduled examinations, and nobody can curtail their rights.
He said although enforcing hartal is the legal right of political parties, they cannot hamper academic activities of the students. The schedules of public examinations are being disrupted due to the hartals called by some political parties.
BNP enforced five days of hartal in two spells in the last nine days of April.
The education secretary, home secretary and Jatiya Sangsad secretary and inspector general of police have been made the four other respondents to the rule.
Deputy Attorney General ABM Altaf Hossain represented the government.