The High Court (HC) on Tuesday issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain why the decision not to disclose the information of the individuals or a party who suggested names for the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other Election Commissioners (EC) should not be declared as legally unauthorized.
The HC bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Ahmed Sohel passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan).
The Information Commission and Cabinet Secretary were asked to respond to the rule within four weeks.
On June 7, the Information Commission said ‘who suggested the name for EC’ - this information cannot be provided.
Badiul Alam Majumdar, secretary of Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan), among four prominent citizens filed a writ petition regarding the legality of this decision.
Lawyer Sharif Bhuiyan and Lawyer Saiful Alam Chowdhury appeared for the writ petition in the court while Deputy Attorney General Samarendra Nath Biswas represented the state.
On February 16, Badiul Alam applied to the officer in charge of the Right to Information Division of the Cabinet Division, seeking the information about those who suggested the names to the search committee formed for recommending persons eligible for the post of CEC and Election Commissioners.
On March 1, the officer in charge expressed his inability to provide any information in this regard, saying that the cabinet department has no authority.
Shujan Secretary appealed against this to the Appellate Authority of the Cabinet Division.
Failed to get a response within the stipulated time, he complained to the Information Commission.
However, the Information Commission dismissed the complaint on June 7 stating that the information requested cannot be provided.
On June 23, Badiul Alam filed a writ petition challenging the legality of the decision of the Information Commission.
The writ also sought an issuance of rule regarding the Information Commission’s decision.
On February 5, a six-member search committee, led by Appellate Division Justice Obaidul Hasan, was formed to suggest the names of the Chief Election Commissioner and other election commissioners.
On February 14, the Cabinet Division published 322 names that were suggested for the next Election Commission. However, it was not disclosed who suggested the names.
On February 22, the search committee finalised the names of 10 people for recommendation to the president for the CEC and four election commissioners’ posts and submitted the list.
The President appointed the Chief Election Commissioner and four Election Commissioners from this list.