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Legal notice served on CEC to postpone Sylhet-3 by-polls

Four candidate in the by-polls

Sylhet Office : Five Supreme Court lawyers today served a legal notice to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda, to postpone the by-election to Sylhet-3 constituency scheduled to be held on July 28, due to the ongoing surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths.

Advocate Mohammad Shishir Manir sent the legal notice on behalf of the five lawyers to the CEC through email, saying that holding the by-election to Sylhet-3 constituency on July 28 is contradictory to the ongoing lockdown which has been enforced by the government in order to restrain the surge in Covid-19 cases.

In the legal notice, the lawyers said there is no constitutional obligation for the election commission to hold the by-election on July 28.

They said in the legal notice that if the CEC does not postpone the by-election, they will move to the High Court for necessary directives to this effect.

Citing the legal notice, lawyer Shishir Manir told that CEC has reportedly said on Saturday that the by-election to Sylhet-3 constituency, scheduled to be held on July 28, will not be postponed due to constitutional and legal obligations, which is not correct.

The deadline for the by-election to Sylhet-3 constituency is September 7 this year, according to article 123 (4) of the constitution.

The article says, “An election to fill the seat of a member of parliament which falls vacant otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of parliament shall be held within ninety days of the occurrence of the vacancy.

Provided that in a case where, in the opinion of the Chief Election Commissioner, it is not possible, for reasons of an act of God, to hold such election within the period specified in this clause, such election shall be held within ninety days following next after the last day of such period.”

Shishir Manir said holding the by-election to Sylhet-3 constituency of 3.52 lakh voters is against the government’s lockdown policy.

The Sylhet-3 constituency fell vacant after parliamentarian Mahmud Us Samad Chowdhury died of coronavirus on March 11.

Ruling Awami League candidate Habibur Rahman Habib, JP candidate Mohammad Atiqur Rahman, Bangladesh Congress candidate Junayed Mohammad Miah and BNP rebel candidate Shafi Ahmed Chowdhury are contesting in the by-polls.

The five lawyers who served the legal notice to the CEC on public interest are Mohammd Mujahidul Islam, Al-Reza Md Amir, Md Jobaidur Rahman, Md Zahirul Islam and Mustafizur Rahman.