The High Court on Sunday issued a rule asking the respondents to explain why the article 19 of the Representation of People Order (RPO) empowering an eligible single candidate to be elected MP unopposed should not be declared unconstitutional.
After a brief hearing on a public interest litigation (PIL) writ petition, an HC division bench comprising Justice Mirza Hossain Haider and Justice Khurshid Alam Sarkar issued the rule.
Among others, the Cabinet Secretary, the Law Secretary and the Election Commission (EC) have been made respondents to the rule, which is returnable within 10 days.
The impugned article 19 of the RPO says: “Where after scrutiny under article 14, only one person remains as a validly nominated candidate for election as a member from a constituency or where after withdrawal under article 16, only one person is left as a contesting candidate, the Returning Officer, shall, by a public notice declare such candidate to be elected to the seat.”
A total of 153 MPs out of 300 nominated by Awami League grand alliance were elected unopposed as the BNP-led alliance boycotted the election to the 10thparliament.
Barrister Hasan MS Azim appeared for PIL writ petitioner Khandker Abdus Salam of Jatiya Party, while Deputy Attorney General M Al Amin Sarkar stood for the government.
HC issues rule asking why MPs to be elected unopposed