His JS seat will be considered vacant from 28 January, the day he was convicted by a Kuwait court
Lakshmipur-2 lawmaker Mohammad Shahid Islam, also known as Kazi Papul, has been stripped of his Jatiya Sangsad (JS) membership on grounds of moral turpitude.
A gazette notification declaring his seat vacant was issued by the Parliament Secretariat on Monday.
Confirming the matter, the Secretariat's Senior Secretary Zafar Ahmed Khan told The Business Standard that the seat will be considered vacant from 28 January, the day independent lawmaker Kazi Papul was convicted by a Kuwait court on charge of bribing officials there.
Zafar said a copy of the order was sent to the Election Commission for taking necessary steps in this regard.
According to the gazette signed by the senior secretary, Papul is not fit to be a member of parliament because of his prison sentence according to Article 66 (2) Gha of the constitution.
Salina Islam, a reserved seat lawmaker and the wife of Kazi Papul, told The Business Standard that the matter is still under trial in the Kuwait High Court and their lawyer already appealed before the court.
"While being under trial in a higher court in Kuwait, how the seat could be declared vacant is our question. We will surely challenge the decision of the Jatiya Sangsad," she added.
However, eminent lawyer and constitution expert Shahdin Malik told TBS that the decision can be taken even though the convicted person is appealing before the Kuwaiti High Court.
He also said the convicted person may file a writ petition before the Bangladesh High Court if they want to challenge the decision of Jatiya Sangsad.
The copy of the verdict reached Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury on Thursday, and the process of taking action against the convicted lawmaker began.
On Friday, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen had said his ministry received the 61-page verdict – both in Arabic and English – and sent it to the Jatiya Sangsad speaker and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Papul went to Kuwait as a cleaner in 1989, and turned into a self-made billionaire in two decades. He would later become an MP in Bangladesh and help make his wife one too.
But then he bribed Kuwaiti officials over running a racket of human-traffickers and was caught, convicted and sentenced to four years' rigorous imprisonment by a Kuwaiti court.
In the meantime, he and his family member have been accused in three cases in Bangladesh on charges of human trafficking, money laundering and accumulating wealth illegally.
Besides, the High Court is set to pass a ruling in at least two cases – for him submitting fake certificates to the Election Commission and his wife and daughter filing a bail plea with forged documents.