19 November 2023, Sun

Jamaat's registration case: Appeal petition dismissed for default

Acting Ameer expresses concern; calls for mobilizing the ongoing movement

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami's Acting Ameer and former lawmaker Professor Mujibur Rahman has issued the following statement on 19th November 2023 expressing deep concern over the perverse judgment of the Supreme Court in Jamaat-e-Islami's registration case.

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami is the largest Islamic political party of the country. Jamaat had its representation in almost all the parliament in previous occasions. Jamaat backed candidates had secured victories in different local government elections including city corporations, upazila councils and union council elections and served the people properly. Jamaat had historic contributions in all democratic movements of the country. The whole nation is united now to press home their demand for restoring caretaker government and Jamaat-e-islami is the founder of this concept as well. Top two designated leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami had served the nation as ministers and they had set an outstanding examples of honesty, integrity and accountability. Jamaat's bold position against extremism, militancy and terrorism is known to all. Jamaat remained vocal always against corruption and misrule. Jamaat had been playing an uncompromising role to establish democracy, constitution, rule of law, human rights and justice. Jamaat's stronger stance in different events like Tipaimukh Dam issue, Farakka dam issue, water sharing of Teesta river and murder of civilians at the frontiers. More than 30.5 million people are involved with Jamaat-e-Islami.

Jamaat-e-islami had received registration from the election commission on 4th November of 2008. Later, under the backing of the incumbent government, a writ was filed with the High Court against this registration. The High Court dismissed the writ on 1st August of 2013 through a descending judgment and declared Jamaat's registration illegal. Jamaat-e-islami made an appeal against that verdict in the Supreme Court. In the last week of January, 2023 the court instructed to submit the concise statement of this case within two months and stated that in case of defaulter, appeal will be rejected automatically. Jamaat submitted that concise statement even before the deadline.

Jamaat-e-islami organised a grand rally on 10th June of this year in the capital peacefully. Anti-Jamaat quarters became envious to see such successful program. They filed two petitions seeking ban on the political activities of Jamaat-e-Islami and another one is contempt of court case against the Jamaat leaders. The court fixed date to conduct hearing of these two petitions.

At present, the nation is conducting movement to restore voting rights and the caretaker government system in order to ensure a free, fair, credible and participatory election. Development partners of Bangladesh and the democratic world are also pressing for a fair and inclusive election. But paying no heed to their call, the government is mulling to hold another one-sided election and its subservient election commission already declared election schedule accordingly.

Almost all political parties of the country are making movement now demanding the cancellation of this schedule. The nation is also observing programs like strike and blockade. Under such circumstance, the court fixed today, 19th November for the hearing of registration case. Traditionally, the senior lawyers do not take part in hearing during a strike or blockade. Accordingly, Jamaat appointed senior lawyer submitted an adjournment petition but the court denied that plea. They also dismissed the appeal as 'petition dismissed for default.'

Due to denial of the hearing of the lawyers of a major party like Jamaat-e-islami and simultaneous dismissal of the appeal as 'dismissed for fault, Jamaat-e-islami has been made deprived from justice. It is a perverse judgment and we are refusing it.

The lawyers will take next legal steps. We think, this perverse judgment was delivered to divert the ongoing movement. With such initiative, new obstructions have been created in the path of a free, fair and credible election. We are urging the manpower of Jamaat-e-Islami and all democratic forces to intensify the ongoing movement in order to ensure immediate stepdown of the government.