The High Court today issued a rule asking why the government notification permitting the appointment of unelected administrators for 61 Zila Parishads should not be declared null and void.
The local government secretary, cabinet secretary, public administration secretary, law secretary and deputy secretary of the district council department were asked to respond to the rule within four weeks.
An HC bench comprising Justice Zafar Ahmed and Justice Kazi Zinat Hoque issued the rule on Wednesday after the hearing of a writ petition in this regard.
Earlier on 24 April, the elected District Councillor of Brahmanbaria Zila Parishad (Ward no 5) and also the President of Bangladesh Zilla Parishad Members Association Babul Mia filed the petition with the relevant branch of the Supreme Court.
The petition was filed challenging the government's decision to appoint unelected Zila Parishad administrators following the end of tenure and until the next administration is formed.
Advocate Mohammad Bakir Uddin Bhuiyan stood for the petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Nowroz Russell Chowdhury moved for the state.
"The court ruled today after we challenged the government notification issued on 17 April regarding the transfer of power of Zila Parishad administration as it was against Articles 7, 11, 26, 27, 31, 40, 59 and 60 of the constitution," said Advocate Bakir Uddin confirming the matter to the media.
Pirojpur District Councillor Md Nasir Uddin Hawladar and Panchagarh District Councillor Haroon Aur Rashid were also present during the court hearing.
On 6 April, Zila Parishad (Amendment) Bill-2022 was passed in parliament incorporating a provision for appointing an administrator on expiry of the five-year tenure of the district-level local government body.
According to the act, the government will appoint a suitable person or a public official to carry out the functions of a Zila Parishad after it expires. The administrator will be in office until the next administration is formed.
The tenure of the administrator will be determined by the government, however, the term of the administrator will not be more than 180 days and no one can be an administrator more than once.
Opposition lawmakers, at the time, opposed the bill terming the administrator appointments contradictory to the constitution.
Earlier today, the local government ministry appointed the immediate past chairmen as administrators to 61 Zila Parishads.
The government, previously, issued a gazette notification abolishing parishads of 61 districts, as their tenures expired.