Reinstatement of 85 UZ polls officers stayed

June 30, 2010

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday stayed for six weeks a verdict of the Administrative Appellate Tribunal, halting the reinstatement of 85 upazila election officers, who were appointed during the previous BNP-Jamaat alliance government but terminated during the caretaker government.
The Administrative Appellate Tribunal in its verdict had declared illegal the termination of the election officers.
Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice SK Sinha yesterday issued the stay order following four separate leave-to-appeal petitions filed by the government against the Administrative Appellate Tribunal’s verdict.
The judge also sent the petitions to the regular bench of the Appellate Division for a hearing.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told The Daily Star that the Election Commission (EC) now cannot reinstate the 85 persons to the posts of upazila election officer until further order of the Appellate Division.
He also said that the caretaker government had legally terminated them since they were appointed on political consideration during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government.
A total of 303 upazila election officers were recruited in 2005, but the recruitment sparked controversy as they were considered to be partisans.
After the Election Commission was reconstituted in February 2007, the authorities decided to test their efficiency for the post.
Of them, 218 people passed the examinations held on May 18, 2007. The EC secretariat then cancelled appointments of the rest 85 persons in September of that year.
On April 12 this year, the Administrative Appellate Tribunal in a verdict declared illegal the termination of the upazila election officers.
On May 17, the EC reinstated them as per the verdict.
On May 20, in response to a public interest litigation filed by Matiyar Rahman Hawlader of Barisal, the High Court also stayed for a month the Election Commission’s (EC) action of reinstating the 85 officers.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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