Vacuum imminent if RPO 19 declared illegal: AG

 The Attorney General on Tuesday said if the High Court declares illegal the provision 19 of the RPO empowering MP candidates to be elected unopposed, there will be a vacuum.

“Such declaration ceases to exist the 154 MPs elected unopposed in the current 10th Parliament,” argued AG Mahbubey Alam during hearing on a public interest litigation (PIL) writ petition.

Underpinning the impugned section 19 of the Representation of the People Order (RPO), the AG said such provision is not illegal and unconstitutional as well, referring to examples in different democratic countries.

Even two Presidents of the United States of America (USA) were elected unopposed, the chief government law officer added.

The AG opposed the admissibility of the writ petition in question as the PIL petitioner has challenged the post of the 154 MPs without making them party to the writ.

Interrupting the AG, the HC division bench, comprising Justice Mirza Hossain Haider and Justice M Khurshid Alam Khan, said the post of 154 MPs has not been challenged.

In reply to the bench, AG Mahbub said ultimately if declared illegal the section 19 of the RPO, the 154 MPs elected unopposed cease to exist as valid identity and so this writ can’t be a public interest case. The writ has been filed with mala fide intention, he observed.

Backing the argument earlier made by Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud as amicus curiae (friend of the court), the AG said had the election not been held, the unconstitutional evil force would have usurped power.

The AG said section 19 of the RPO is no way conflicting with the constitution. Someone cannot be an MP candidate by force if he or she does not want to become a candidate, he contended.

The hearing remained inconclusive.

On December 17, 2013, Jatiya Party (Japa) leader Khandker Abdus Salam filed the writ petition in the form of public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the validity of the section 19 of the RPO empowering MP candidate to be elected unopposed.

Source: UNB Connect

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