Bangladesh national election: EC scraps Jamaat-e-Islami's registration
12:00 AM, October 30, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:39 PM, October 30, 2018

EC scraps Jamaat's registration

Issues gazette 5 years after HC declared the party unfit for polls

The Election Commission has scrapped the registration of Jamaat-e-Islami, a component of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, making it clear that the party will not be able to contest the upcoming national election.

A gazette notification was published on Sunday in this regard as per the Representation of the People Order, 1972.

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The notice, signed by EC Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed, said the decision was made following a High Court verdict that declared Jamaat's registration illegal.

Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, the EC secretary said they cancelled the registration after receiving the full text of the HC verdict.

Asked about Jamaat's appeal pending with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Helaluddin said they received an advocate certificate stating that the apex court didn't stay the HC order.

The HC in a landmark verdict on August 1, 2013, had declared illegal the Jamaat's registration with the EC. The commission the same year had suspended the registration.

Rezaul Haque Chandpuri, then secretary general of Bangladesh Tariqat Federation, along with 24 others had filed a writ petition with the HC on January 25, 2009, seeking its order declaring Jamaat's registration illegal.

The petitioners said Jamaat was a religion-based political party and it didn't believe in independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh.

In the verdict, two judges of the three-member HC bench declared the registration illegal. However, the other judge disagreed with the decision of his two colleagues.

Jamaat then filed the appeal with the apex court challenging the HC verdict.

A total of 38 political parties, including Jamaat, registered with the EC after the then military-backed caretaker government had introduced the registration system in 2008.

Jamaat had brought major changes to its constitution in phases to meet the registration requirements as no unregistered political party was allowed to contest elections.

For the first time, the Islamist party made a mention of democracy in its charter, although its ultimate aim was to establish Islamic rule in the country.

The party had secured the registration on November 24, 2008.

The writ petition said section 2(5) of Jamaat charter failed to recognise parliament or its legitimacy to enact laws for the republic which was a violation of article 65(1) of the country's constitution.

They added that Jamaat had offices abroad in violation of the country's constitution.

Controversial Islamist thinker Sayyid Abul A'la Maududi had founded Jamaat in undivided India under the British colonial rule in 1941.

The government of independent Bangladesh in its first decision had banned five communal outfits, including Jamaat, which not only opposed the nation's independence but also actively helped Pakistani occupation forces commit genocide and other war crimes.

The banned parties were given the green light to do politics during the rule of late president Ziaur Rahman after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975.

The international crimes tribunals in their judgments have described the Jamaat's role in 1971.

Some judgments also said Jamaat played a leading role in creating Pakistani occupation army's auxiliary forces like Al-Badr, Razakar, Al Shams and Peace Committee which actively took part in atrocities on Bangalees.

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