Gaibandha-5: HC orders removal of Saghata UNO, police station chief over 'bias'

Independent candidate Farzana Bubli filed a writ petition alleging bias against the officials

Published : 3 Jan 2024, 10:52 AM
Updated : 3 Jan 2024, 10:52 AM

The High Court has directed the removal of the Upazila executive officer, or UNO, and police station chief, or OC, of Gaibandha's Saghata from election duties ahead of the national polls.

The order was issued by the panel of Justice Md Iqbal Kabir and Justice SM Moniruzaman on Wednesday in response to a petition by independent candidate Farzana Bubli, alleging bias against the officials.

ABM Altaf Hossain, the petitioner's lawyer, said the court has also instructed the release of all presiding officers and assistant presiding officers who served in the last by-election in Gaibandha-5 from their election duties.

The Election Commission had suspended the Gaibandha-5 bypoll on Oct 12, 2022, citing irregularities in multiple polling centers. This was the first time that an election for a parliamentary seat was halted due to irregularities.

Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal subsequently constituted a three-member probe panel to identify those involved in the voting irregularities in Gaibandha. Following the committee's report, the EC decided to take action against returning officers, additional district commissioners, presiding officers, sub-inspectors of police, executive magistrates, and hundreds of polling officers and election agents for negligence and involvement in irregularities.

A fresh vote in the constituency took place on Jan 4, 2023, resulting in the victory of Awami League candidate Mahmud Hossain Ripon.