A two-judge High Court bench yesterday delivered a split verdict on a writ petition that challenged the legality of holding Jatiya Sangsad membership by Nizam Uddin Hazari, an Awami League leader in Feni.
Justice Md Emdadul Huq said in his part of the judgement that Nizam Uddin Hazari cannot hold the office of parliament member as per Article 66 (2)(D) of the constitution as he is convicted in an arms case.
Meanwhile, Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan said the writ petition is not acceptable, as there is a question of disputed fact regarding serving jail by Nizam Uddin Hazari in the case.
Hazari's lawyer Barrister Shafique Ahmed said the judges will now send the writ petition along with the split verdict to the table of the chief justice. After receiving the petition, Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha will assign another HC bench for final hearing and disposal of the petition.
Shakhawat Hossain Bhuiyan, a Jubo League leader of Feni, filed the petition as public interest litigation with the HC on June 8, 2014 praying to the court to declare Nizam disqualified for contesting the parliamentary polls and holding the office as a lawmaker because of his alleged forgery in getting early release from jail in a criminal case.
Quoting a newspaper report, Shakhawat in his petition said a Chittagong court sentenced Nizam to 10 years' imprisonment in an arms case on August 16, 2000. He surrendered to the court on September 14, 2000, and was sent to Chittagong jail to serve his term.
But he was released on December 1, 2005, through fraudulence, Shakhawat said. Nizam was supposed to be in jail until September 13, 2010, and he, according to the law, was not supposed to be eligible to run in parliamentary polls before September 2015.
Nizam provided false information about serving his jail term to the Election Commission, he added.
The HC issued a rule the same day asking the government and the Election Commission to explain why the ruling Awami League leader Nizam Uddin Hazari's parliament seat should not be declared vacant.
The office of inspector general of prisons has submitted a report to the HC on July 19 saying that Nizam Uddin Hazari had suffered in jail around 2.5 years less than he was supposed to serve in the arms case.