Dr Kamal terms it 'dead horse'
Election Commission's counsel Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday told the court last year's cancelled dialogue between EC and BNP is no longer an issue, terming it a "dead horse".
On the other hand, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's counsel advocate TH Khan said the commission's decision to invite Maj (retd) Hafiz for a dialogue was one-sided. He even raised question over legality of EC's holding dialogues with political parties.
Dr Kamal expressed EC and fellow lawyers' anxiety over making lengthy the hearing on an HC rule regarding EC's letter inviting Hafiz, acting secretary general appointed by BNP standing committee, to represent BNP in the dialogue.
The HC bench of Justice Mirza Hossein Haider and Justice Mamnun Rahman on November 18 issued the rule following a writ filed by Khaleda challenging legality of the letter.
As the fourth day of hearing continued yesterday, TH Khan continued reading out from the copy of the writ but could not complete it until the end of court hour.
Mentioning EC's duties including voter listing for holding national and other elections, advocate Khan questioned the legal basis of arranging dialogues with political parties.
He said it should also be examined that whether it is necessary for the commission to hold dialogues with political parties.
On November 5 last year, EC invited Hafiz to the dialogue scheduled for November 22 following his appointment as acting secretary general and Saifur Rahman's as acting chairman by BNP standing committee on October 29.
Khaleda, prior to her arrest on September 3, expelled Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan from the party and made Khandaker Delwar Hossain secretary general in his place.
But after the controversial standing committee meeting, Mofiqul Hasan Tripti, office secretary of BNP [later expelled by Khandaker Delwar], conveyed EC in a letter the meeting's decision.
Khaleda's counsel yesterday told the court Tripti's letter was fake.
TH Khan said there was no quorum in the meeting and according to party constitution only the chairperson has the authority to convene a standing committee meet.
By the end of court hour, advocate Khan told the court he would continue reading out from the petition next day before the court adjourned hearing till Monday.
At that time Dr Kamal expressed his anxiety over making the hearing lengthy. He emphasised quick and short hearing as the issue of holding a dialogue between EC and Hafiz was cancelled.
He said after issuing the rule by the court the writ petitioner got full relief as the commission cancelled the dialogue. "So that is not a issue, the horse is dead and decomposed," he said.
He requested the court to allow him half an hour to complete his submission before finishing submission of the counsel for the petitioner.
TH Khan, however, said it would take time to complete his submission.
The court then allowed Dr Kamal to deliver his submission today at 3:30pm and decided to continue hearing TH Khan's argument on Monday.