National, Front Page

EC takes optimum steps for fair polls

Published : 28 Nov 2023 11:00 PM
  • 802 mobile courts, 300 judicial bodies formed 
  • Army, 7.5 lakh law-enforcers to be deployed 

Alongside 300 Pre-electoral Judicial Enquiry Committees, a total of 802 Executive Magistrates started working from Tuesday to maintain ‘Electoral Code of Conduct’ by the candidates in the field level across the country.

The 802 Executive Magistrates will conduct mobile courts till January 9, two days after the election, as the polls are slated for January 7, 2024.

Besides, as part of multi-phased measures taken by the Election Commission (EC) to ensure the JS polls free, fair and trouble-free manner, over 7.5 lakhs personnel from different law-enforcement and security agencies will be engaged across the country.

Moreover, a large contingent of Army personnel will also be deployed to check irregularities and violence centring the JS polls.

Officials of the EC (Management) said, although 802 Executive Magistrates have already started working in the field level from Tuesday, the number of Executive Magistrates may increase during the period from January 5 to January 9.

Personnel from the law-enforcement and security agencies will assist the magistrates as the striking forces, they said.   

Md Atiar Rahman, a Deputy Secretary of the EC, said an Executive Magistrate will work for each of the Upazilas. But two or more than two magistrates will be working in each of upazila which consists of at least 15 union parishads and a municipality.

In the district level, an Executive Magistrate will be working in each municipality. But two magistrates will be working in a district level municipality where the number of Wards is more than nine. 

Besides, he said, at least 11 Executive Magistrates will be working in Dhaka North City Corporation, 15 for Dhaka South City Corporation, 10 for Chattogram City Corporation, six for Khulna City Corporation, four for Gazipur City Corporation, and three for each of other city corporations.

Earlier on November 23, the EC formed 300 Judicial Enquiry Committees to check pre-electoral irregularities.

Each of the Pre-Electoral Judicial Enquiry Committees will be led by a Joint District Judge or a Session Judge, who will be assisted by a Senior Assistant Judge and an Assistant Judge.

The pre-poll Judicial Enquiry Committees are working like the Civil Courts. 

These courts are carrying out enquiries of their own. But, these courts have also been tasked to hold hearing if they receive allegations from any party or individual.

Besides, these enquiry committees have also been asked to comple their enquiries by three days. The committees have been asked to send recommendations to the EC through the district headquarters.

Earlier, EC’s Additional Secretary Ashok Kumar Devnath said around 7.5 lakh personnel from different law-enforcement and security forces, including Bangladesh Police, Rapid Action Battalion, Border Guard Bangladesh, Ansar & VDP and Coast Guard will be engaged for the smooth conducting JS polls.

In the latest development, EC member Mohammad Anisur Rahman on Monday said that centring the JS polls, the EC is planning to deploy Army personnel across the country.

The EC member came up with the remarks on Monday at Rangamati after a views exchange meeting with the polls officials of Rangamati and Khagrachhari districts.

As per the schedule, the 12th JS polls will be held on January 7, political parties will be able to submit nominations for aspirants till November 30, the EC will scrutinise the nomination forms from December 1-4, appeals against the nominations can be submitted from December 5-6 and nominations need to be withdrawn by December 17.

In the circumstances, most of the political parties are now busy with their electoral process. They almost have completed their nomination process.