MP Nixon seeks anticipatory bail in EC case

  • Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-10-18 16:12:22 BdST

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Faridpur-4 MP Mujibur Rahman Chowdhury Nixon alleged bias by the district’s Deputy Commissioner Atul Sarker in by-elections to Charbhadrasan Upazila council at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Oct 13, 2020. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

Faridpur-4 MP Mujibur Rahman Chowdhury Nixon has petitioned for anticipatory bail in a case started by the Election Commission in which he is charged with violating the electoral code of conduct by verbally abusing and threatening polling officials in a local election.

The application was filed with the High Court on Sunday, according to Nixon’s lawyer M Monzur Alam.

“Lawyer Shahdin Malik submitted our application. The hearing could be held before the bench of Justice Md Zakir Hossain and Justice KM Zahid Sarwar,” Monzur told bdnews24.com.

Asked about the grounds of the bail, Monzur replied, “The appeal is now a sub-judice matter, so I’d rather not go into it.”

Faridpur's Senior Election Officer Nawabul Islam started the case against Nixon with Charbhadrasan police on Oct 15.

Nixon, an independent MP, has been under the scanner over the last week after allegations surfaced that he verbally abused the deputy commissioner and a few other election officials during the by-election to the post of Charbhadrasan Upazila Parishad chairman.

According to the case dossier, MP Nixon called up Deputy Commissioner Atul Sarker to demand answers over the appointment of a central executive magistrate in the Charbhadrasan Upazila by-polls. He ‘misbehaved’ and ‘threatened’ to barricade the highway if his candidate would lose as a consequence.

Additionally, he verbally abused and threatened Charbhadrasan Upazlia’s executive officer, assistant commissioner and on-duty executive magistrate for detaining a polling agent while he was smoking for allegedly casting fake votes.

After the vote on Oct 10, independent MP Nixon spoke at a rally outside the Upazila Awami League offices and said, "The deputy commissioner had 12 'boat' [the Awami League's polling symbol] arrested by 12 magistrates and had them beaten."

He also allegedly threatened the Charbhadrasan Upazila Nirbahi Officer and another executive magistrate over phone on the morning of the by-election. A recording of the phone call was leaked on social media and triggered waves of criticism.

Nixon, however, pleaded innocence and claimed that the audio clip was ‘super edited’.