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>move to keep corrupts off elections uncertain

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>THE caretaker government’s plan to debar the detained “corrupt” political bigwigs from contesting the next parliamentary elections might not work if they are not tried under the Emergency Power Rules (EPR), The Daily Star reports analysing recent Bangladesh situation.
“According to a provision of the EPR, any person, convicted of corruption by a trial court, will be disqualified from contesting any election until adjudication of their appeal against the verdict. But, if the trials of these detained political leaders are done under the existing laws instead of the EPR, the convicted persons will be able to contest polls until the Supreme Court (SC) gives the final order upholding the trial court’s conviction, which usually takes a long time,” Zayadul Ahsan and Shakhawat Liton wrote in an article Friday.
Soon after launching the crackdown on the corrupt political leaders, the government amended the EPR on February 13, inserting the provision to prevent them from contesting all kinds of polls.
But following the opinion of the amicus curiae, uncertainty now looms large over the fate of the cases filed against these political leaders, including former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina.
Appointed by the HC, which is disposing a writ petition challenging the government decision to bring Hasina’s case under the EPR, the amicus curiae vehemently opposed the trial of Hasina under the EPR as the alleged offence was committed before the promulgation of the Emergency Power Ordinance.
Legal experts said if the SC declares bringing the extortion case against Hasina under the EPR illegal in line with the opinion of the amicus curiae and orders trial under the ordinary law, then all other similar cases will also have to be tried under the ordinary law.
Law Adviser AF Hassan Ariff also said the fate of other corruption cases under the EPR hinges on the HC verdict on Sheikh Hasina’s writ petition.
(Read the whole article)
related articles:
HC verdict to impact other graft cases
Govt looks for strategy if HC agrees with amici

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