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No legal bar to DUCSU elections

No legal bar to DUCSU elections

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) has paved the way for holding the Dhaka University Central Students' Union (DUCSU) election. A four-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, on Sunday (Jan 6) vacated its chamber judge’s order that had stayed a High Court (HC) verdict directing the authorities concerned to hold the DUCSU election in six months’ time.

The Appellate Division came up with the order during hearing of an appeal filed by the DU authorities challenging the HC verdict. On Jan 17 last year, the HC had directed the authorities concerned and the government to hold the election in six months.

In response to a writ petition, the HC had also directed the home ministry to provide necessary assistance to the DU authorities for holding the election. However, following an appeal filed by the DU authorities, the chamber judge of the Appellate Division on Oct 1 stayed the HC verdict.

In the appeal, the DU authorities said they had decided to hold the polls by Mar 15, 2019. The Appellate Division kept the appeal of the DU authorities stand-over (pending for hearing) till Mar 30 this year. After the apex court order, advocate Manzill Murshid, counsel for the petitioners, told reporters that the authorities have to hold the DUCSU polls by Mar 15.

On Mar 11, 2012, Manzill Murshid had served a legal notice to the Dhaka University Vice-Chancellor, Proctor, and Treasurer on behalf of 31 students, asking them to take necessary steps to hold the central students’ union polls. As the university did not reply to the notice, a writ petition was filed on behalf of the students the same year. Later, on Jan 17 last year, the HC asked the DU authorities to hold the election within six months.

The DUCSU rule mandates holding an election every year, but the university authorities did not take steps to hold the polls after 1990.