Khaleda files pleas seeking return of candidacy

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia today filed separate petitions with the Supreme Court, seeking stay on the High Court order that rejected her three writ petitions challenging the Election Commission's decision to uphold cancellation of her nomination papers by the returning officers

In the petitions, Khaleda prayed to the Appellate Division for its instruction upon the Election Commission to allow her to contest the December 30 election and to allocate her “sheaf of paddy” as election symbol, Barrister AKM Ehsanur Rahman, a lawyer for Khaleda, told The Daily Star.

She submitted the petitions through an advocate-on-record.

The apex court chamber judge may hold hearing on the petitions tomorrow, the lawyer added.

On December 18, the HC summarily rejected the three writ petitions by Khaleda Zia, saying the EC rightly upheld the ROs decision to cancel Khaleda s nomination papers for Feni-1, Bogura-6 and Bogura-7, as she was convicted and sentenced to 17 years in jail in two corruption cases. The HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan passed the order saying if a person is convicted and sentenced to more than two years in prison for moral turpitude, they are not eligible to participate in elections in five years after serving jail term.

On December 11, the HC bench of Justice Refaat and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir Lytton passed split orders on the three petitions. The next day, the chief justice assigned the bench of Justice Hassan to dispose of the petitions.

Khaleda landed in jail on February 8 after a special court in Dhaka sentenced her to five years imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. The HC later extended her jail term to 10 years.

On October 29, she was sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment by the same court in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.

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