DCC polls deferred again by 3 months
The bench of justices Naima Haider and Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar gave the order after rights body Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh’s representative Manzill Murshid pointed out to the court that the grounds for the previous stay order were still there.
On July 23, the same bench had extended for the first time the injunction on the DCC polls. The High Court had stayed the elections by three months on Apr 16.
In the ruling, the court had ordered speedy delimitation of the wards and updating the voter list at least three months before the vote. It had also asked the authorities to finish the work in line with the law and hold the ballot as soon as possible.
The court also questioned why the Election Commission should not be instructed to hold the polls after implementing the related clauses, including delimitation of the wards, mentioned in the Local Government (City Corporation) Act.
The Chief Election Commissioner, LGRD Secretary, Election Commission Secretary, Dhaka District Election Officer, two returning officers and the Administrators of the Dhaka North and Dhaka South city corporations were told to respond to the ruling.
The petition referred to Section 27 of the Local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009 and said that duly-appointed officer had to propose delimitation of specific wards, and then corporations would then be divided accordingly. Thereafter, the number of wards would have to be publicised through a gazette notification.
According to Section 28 of the Act, the delimitation officer has to be appointed from among the public servants through a gazette notification, and another gazette notification would have to be published after appointing the officer.
As DCC North and DCC South were newly-formed city corporations, elections could not be held without fixing the number of wards and demarcating them, and implementing sections 27 and 28 of the Act, the petition said.
Apart from the two sections, the Commission had also violated the Section 29 of the Local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009, the petition added.