The High Court has issued a ruling asking the authorities to reply as to why the parliament membership of Laxmipur 2 constituency's Mohammad Shahid Islam alias Kazi Papul and BNP's Harunur Rashid should not be cancelled for separate charges.
Papul faces charges of providing false information in his affidavit while Harun was earlier convicted in a tax evasion case.
The High Court bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice AKM Zahirul Haque passed the order after hearing two separate writ petitions.
The cabinet secretary, law secretary, Election Commission, Anti-Corruption Commission, deputy commissioners of the respective two districts, two MPs, and the senior secretary of the Election Commission have been asked to respond to the ruling within the next four weeks.
Abul Fayez Bhuiyan, an independent candidate contesting from Laxmipur 2 constituency in the 11th Parliamentary Election, filed the writ petition against Papul in the High Court on August 18 on charges of giving false information in an affidavit and submitting fake certificates.
Lawyer Sheikh Awsafur Rahman placed his statements on behalf of the appeal in court on Tuesday.
Later, he told reporters that Bhuiyan was one of the rival candidates of MP Papul in the 2018 elections.
"He came to us with many documents and lots of information. We were satisfied to see all the documents and then turned to the court," he added.
The High Court bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice AKM Zahirul Haque, satisfied with everything, issued a four-week ruling as to why Papul's parliamentary seat should not be cancelled.
"The court has further instructed us to expedite the case. It will hear the case," said the lawyer.
The court has asked why the seat of Harunur Rashid, a BNP lawmaker from Chapainawabganj 3 constituency–who was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of tax evasion– should not be declared vacant.
The ruling was issued after hearing a writ petition filed in the public interest.
Abdul Wadud, a resident of the constituency, filed the writ petition as Harun is still an MP despite being sentenced to five years in jail in a tax evasion case.
Advocate Dewan Dr Mohammad Abu Obaid Hossain gave his statement in favour of the writ petition in the court. Deputy Attorney General Jasmine Sultana Samshad represented the state.
Dr Dewan said, "Article 66 (2) (b) of the Constitution states that a Member of Parliament shall be disqualified from office if he is sentenced to at least two years in a criminal case. Whereas Harun Aur Rashid was sentenced to five years in prison. That is why I filed the writ petition in the public interest."
Judge Sheikh Nazmul Alam of Dhaka Special Judge's Court 4 sentenced him to five years in prison on October 21 last year. Additionally, he was fined Tk50 lakh and given another six months' imprisonment for non-payment of the fine.
Harun then appealed to the High Court seeking an acquittal. His appeal was accepted for hearing on October 28 last year. Justice Shawkat Hossain's single-member bench granted him bail. Harun Aur Rashid was later released.