Dhaka, Aug 29 (UNB) - The High Court on Wednesday fixed next week to hear the bail petition of Shahidul Alam, Managing Director of Drik Gallery and Chairman of Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, in a case filed under the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Act.
The HC bench of Justice Md Ruhul Quddus and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman passed the order.
Barrister Sarah Hossain stood for Alam while Barrister Joytirmoy Barua also was present.
Earlier on Tuesday they filed a petition seeking bail for Shahidul Alam.
Alam, was picked up from his Dhanmondi home on August 5 and the case was filed against him with Ramna Police Station on August 6.
Alam was also placed on a seven-day remand in the case. Police claimed that he was spreading propaganda through his Facebook during the student movement demanding safe road which is harmful for the state.
Dhaka, Aug 29 (UNB) - Food Minister Qamrul Islam on Wednesday said the government will start selling rice at Tk 10 per kg among 50 lakh ultra-poor families across the country from next month under a food-friendly programme.
The minister came up with the announcement during a meeting on the food-friendly programme at the Food Directorate.
An ultra-poor family can buy maximum 30 kg rice at a time at Tk 10 during the months of September, October and November.
He said the government does not want to see any irregularity in the food-friendly programme ahead of the national election. “No one will be speared if any irregularity is detected during the three-month programme.”
He asked district food control officers to remain alert against all kinds of irregularities and corruption.
The minister said this time the government will distribute nutritious rice in Kurigram, Keraniganj in Dhaka, Kaliganj in Gazipur, Sarail in Brahmanbaria, Moksedpur in Gopalganj, Faridpur sadar and Bijoynagar, Bamna upazila in Barguna and Ramganj in Laxmipur.
Nutritious rice will gradually be distributed in all upazilas, he added.
“We’re also taking measures so that nutritious rice could be made available in the marker,” he said.
Dhaka, Aug 28 (UNB) – The High Court on Tuesday asked the government to return the passport of Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury for six months.
An HC bench of Justice Muhammad Abdul Hafiz and Justice Bhishmadev Chakrabortty passed the order after hearing a petition.
Advocate Fazlur Rahman stood for Ariful while deputy attorney general Maniruzzaman Kabir represented the state.
Advocate Fazlur Rahman, said Mayor Ariful’s passport has been seized following the High Court order as the court granted him conditional bail in former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria murder case.
Ariful filed a petition before the court seeking his passport back as he is scheduled to go to London for attending the convocation of his daughter on September 10.
On August 14, a lower court rejected the petition. Later, Ariful filed a petition with the High Court challenging the lower court order.
Dhaka, Aug 28 (UNB) – The Election Commission has planned to hold the 11th national election in the last week of December next and it is acquiring capacity to use EVMs in one-third polling stations across the country.
“Our plan is to arrange the election at the end of December …it may be in the last week,” EC Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed told reporters at his Nirbachan Bhaban office here on Tuesday while replying to a question.
He said there’s no possibility to arrange the polls in January as the new academic year of school students will begin at that time. If the election is held at that time, the academic activities of students will be hampered.
He said school students enjoy vacation at the end of December.
The EC Secretary said though the EC is getting ready to acquire capacity to use electronic voting machines (EVMs) in one-third polling stations in the next general election, it has yet to take any decision over its use in the national election.
“If all the parties agree, the EC has a plan to use EVMs in the parliamentary elections. So, we’ve to take preparations right from now,” he said.
Helaluddin said the Commission has sent a project proposal to the Planning Commission to procure some 1.5 lakh EVMs.
With 1.5 lakh EVMs, the voting in one-third polling stations can be arranged fully with the electronic machines, he said adding, “To use EVMs in the national election, there should be a legal base first.”
Helaluddin said it is necessary to amend the Representation of the People Order (RPO) to incorporate provisions to pave the way for using the electronic machines instead of ballot paper.
The EC Secretary said the Commission will sit in a meeting on August 30 next to discuss the RPO amendment.
If the EC takes decision to incorporate EVM-related provisions in the RPO, then the proposal for the RPO amendment will be sent to the Law Ministry for its vetting, he said.
“Once the law is passed (in Parliament), the Commission may have discussions with political parties (to receive their opinions over EVMs). Then the decision will be taken whether the EVM can be used in the parliamentary elections,” he said.
Helaluddin said the use of EVMs in the next national election depends on several factors, including having a legal base in the RPO, approval of the project to procure EVMs, political parties’ opinion and training of election officials and awareness of the voters.
“We’ve yet to discuss with political parties whether we’ll use EVMs or not. If a legal base is found (in the RPO) and the Planning Commission’s support (to procure EVMs), then there may be discussions with political parties,” he said.
Now the Election Commission has only 380 EVMs in hand, which were used in different local body elections on small scale.
Helaluddin said the EC has already completed 80 percent of its preparatory for the next national election.
Mentioning that the countrywide Upazila Parishad polls will be held after the 11th national election, he said the EC has a plan to use the EVMs in the local body elections.
Dhaka, Aug 28 (UNB) – BNP leader Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury on Tuesday sought time to appear before the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for interrogation over his alleged involvement in money laundering and amassing illegal wealth.
On August 16, ACC had asked the BNP standing committee member to be present on August 28 for interrogation.
Upon receipt of his time petition letter today, ACC fixed September 10 as fresh date for his appearance before the anti-corrupt body. Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury wrote in his letter that he required more time to collect necessary documents.
ACC's assistant director (Public Relations) Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya told UNB that they had sent the summon notice to Khasru's Chawkbazar house in the city on August 16 asking him to be present on Tuesday.
“The former commerce minister, Khasru will now have to face the ACC interrogation on September 10 as he missed the date August 28,” he added.
ACC Director Kazi Shafiqul Alam is investigating the allegations illegal wealth accumulation against the BNP Standing Committee member.