In a reaction to the High Court order that scraps the registration of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Barrister Abdur Razzaq, senior lawyer of Bangladesh Supreme Court said this order will not put any hindrance in continuing the political activities of this party.
In a statement, the legal luminary said:
Today a larger bench of the High Court division has cancelled the registration of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami on a writ petition filed by Tariqat Foundation.
“Let me clarify first, cancellation of registration means as a political party Jamaat-e-Islami cannot take part in the election. (Certainly the party can’t if the Appellate division upholds this verdict of the High Court division). But this order will not put any hindrance in continuing the political activities of this party. Under Article 38 of the Constitution, Jamaat-e-Islami can continue to act as a political party.
“For the following reasons, we are considering the High Court order as unjustified:
“a. This judgment is pre-matured as the entire process of registration is under due consideration of the Election Commission. During the hearing of this writ petition, we have submitted various examples quoting the reference of the High Court of neighbouring India and England, but the honourable court has rejected those points.
“b. In a memo of 2010, the Election Commission clarified that, except Awami League and JSD, the constitution of all the parties are full of errors and contradictory to the 1972 RPO (Representation of the People’s Ordinance). We think, by cancelling the registration of Jamaat-e-Islami, the honourable High Court has opened a new Pandora’s Box. We further consider that, such a step is really damaging for democracy and rule of law.
“c. For the public interest, all the writ petitioners should come to the court with clean hand. This is the common rule of law which has been breached clearly in this context. The writ petitioner claims that, Islamic politics is contradictory with the constitution. But the party constitution of the petitioner’s main body, Tariqat Foundation contains the elements of Jihad which is even absent in the party constitution of Jamaat-e-Islami.
“d. In a democratic system, it is the people to decide for whom or which party they would cast their vote. This is the main spirit of democracy. Even the amended Constitution of Bangladesh holds Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim (In the name of Almighty Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful) and the provision of state religion. Under such circumstance, there is no chance of scrapping the political registration of Jamaat-e-Islami. We want to say clearly that, this judgment truly contradicts rule of law, democracy, human rights and most of all the Constitution. We submitted two references of the Supreme Court of the United States during the hearing. In the case of ‘Communist Party of India’, the US Supreme Court stated that, though the ideology of Communism is contradictory to the state infrastructure of the United States, but no restriction should be imposed upon any communist party as the US Constitution guarantees political liberty for all. Referring to the first amendment of the Constitution, the Supreme Court further added that, the Supreme Court should not issue any bar or restriction upon any party even some risky elements exists in its doctrine or philosophy until the political freedom is ensured.