Court invalidates provision for caretaker Bangladesh government

May 10th, 2011 - 12:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, May 10 (IANS) The Bangladesh Supreme Court Tuesday declared illegal the constitutional provision for a caretaker government taking office three months before a general election and organising the poll.

It, however, said the tenth and eleventh parliamentary elections may be held under the caretaker government “in order to avoid any chaos”.

The country currently has its ninth parliament that was elected in December 2008. The next poll is due in December 2013.

The court observed that the parliament could take steps to amend the law under which the chief justice or any other judges of the Appellate Division are not involved in the government.

The seven-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice A.B.M. Khairul Haque passed the judgment.

The provision brought through a constitution amendment act is declared void and ultra-vires, Star Online, website of The Daily Star reported.

Begum Khaleda Zia’s government had resigned in October 2006 and a caretaker government had taken office. Following a political agitation that hurt the economy, Zia’s arch rival and current prime minister Sheikh Hasina and her 14-party alliance boycotted the elections.

The caretaker government, backed by the army, then imposed a national emergency and called off the elections.

The caretaker regime went on to rule for two years, when both Khaleda and Hasina were imprisoned on graft charges. It also tried, without success, to keep out the two women leaders from public life.

The apex court was told by lawyers that the country should not have a caretaker government or at least, a former chief justice should not head it.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had proposed last month that the constitution should provide for the previous elected government returning to office if the caretaker government failed to hold elections within 90 days.

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