Khaleda rejects full SC verdict
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday categorically rejected the Supreme Court's full verdict declaring the caretaker government system illegal, saying her party won't accept the "illogical, contradictory [to its earlier short order] and politically motivated verdict".
She also made it clear the main opposition party won't participate in any election based on this verdict.
The full text of the verdict, released on Sunday, reflects the prime minister's recent statements on polls-time administration, and is inconsistent with the short order, the BNP chief said at a crowded press conference at her Gulshan office in the capital.
"This unethical and politically motivated verdict is ineffective due to logical grounds. It will create instability and aggravate political crisis," said the leader of the opposition in parliament.
The verdict will not be able to hamper the ongoing movement against the government, she added.
Khaleda accused former chief justice ABM Khairul Haque (chief justice when the short order was given) of bringing "unethical changes" in the full text of the verdict on the constitution's 13th amendment cancellation.
"Differences are clear between the short order and the full text of the verdict, and this amounts to judicial misconduct. A retired judge cannot write a verdict but Khairul Haque did that. The verdict is biased, unacceptable and cancelable," she said.
Khaleda added, "In the recent verdict [full text] the former chief justice gave the directive for a caretaker government with elected representatives, which is a direct reflection of the prime minister's statement and contradictory to his previous order. Such biased attitude of the judge is a serious judicial misconduct."
In the full text of its verdict, the SC said the next two elections may be held under caretaker government comprising lawmakers.
On May 10 last year, the then chief justice Khairul Haque gave the short order declaring the caretaker government system illegal. Later, the government removed the system from the constitution through an amendment, which triggered a spate of political controversy.
BNP strongly protested the move and declared that they won't take part in any election if it is not held under a non- party neutral government.
The government said it won't restore the caretaker government system, and election would be held as per constitutional provisions.
And the BNP-led alliance threatened to go for tougher movement to compel the government to restore the caretaker system.
Khaleda once again asserted this at yesterday's press conference.
Recently, during her UK visit, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina proposed formation of a small cabinet, that would also include BNP representatives, to oversee the election. And on Wednesday, she announced in parliament that the next election would be held after dissolution the House.
On Hasina's latest statement, Khaleda said it is nothing but an attempt to mislead the people. "She [PM] is planning to hold a stage-managed election while staying in power. But our position is clear. There is no alternative to a non-party neutral government. People will not accept election under a political government."
Asked about the consequence of the rigid stances of both the Awami League and the BNP, Khaleda said they want a peaceful handover of power, and that is why they demanded restoration of the caretaker government to ensure people's right to vote.
Bitterly criticising the former chief justice, Khaleda said in the May 10 (last year) short order, he said the 10th and 11th parliament elections can be held under caretaker government, but in the full text he changed his stance and proposed holding election under a political government.
"Such dissimilarity between the short order delivered in the court [SC] and the full text [of verdict] is unprecedented. Undoubtedly, it has been done to implement an ill political motive," said the former prime minister.
Khaleda alleged that the proposals in favour of the government stance showed that he [Khairul Haque] has rewritten the verdict to fulfil the government's desire.
"Contradictory proposals were made in the verdict to implement the government's desire, and such a heinous example of politicisation won't be found in any court in the world," she said.
The BNP chief warned that agitation will be tougher day by day to foil the government's "conspiracy to hold a farcical election under a political government."
Senior BNP leaders including acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir were present at the press briefing.
Electricity went off at least 10 times during the briefing.