Bangladesh High Court issues injunction against Film Artists’ group leader

The High Court bench comprising Justices Naima Haider and Kazi Zinat Hoque not only issued the six-month injunction against Dipjol, but also instructed the Social Welfare Ministry’s registration authority to conduct an inquiry into the complaints about the BFAA polls.

Bangladesh’s High Court has issued an injunction restraining Manwar Hossain Dipjol from carrying out duties as general secretary of the prominent Bangladesh Film Artists Association (BFAA) for the next six months. The court order on Monday came in response to allegations of irregularities and vote rigging in the association’s April 19 elections.

The High Court bench comprising Justices Naima Haider and Kazi Zinat Hoque not only issued the six-month injunction against Dipjol but also instructed the Social Welfare Ministry’s registration authority to conduct an inquiry into the complaints about the BFAA polls.

At the same time, the court issued a rule asking the Social Welfare and Information ministries to explain why the results of the controversial BFAA election should not be declared illegal and void.

The orders came after acclaimed actor Nasreen Akhter Nipun filed a writ petition challenging the outcome of the April 19 BFAA elections that saw Dipjol elected general secretary. Nipun alleged there were widespread irregularities and rigging of votes during the polling process.

Mahmud said the court injunction prevents Dipjol from performing any duties or responsibilities as general secretary until the inquiry ordered by the High Court is completed within the next six months.

The BFAA represents the interests of film artists and workers in Bangladesh’s iconic movie industry based in Dhaka. Its leadership elections this year were marred by claims of polling violations, voter suppression and ballot stuffing by some members.

Dipjol and the BFAA’s election committee have denied any wrongdoing and rejected Nipun’s allegations as baseless. They have indicated they will appeal the High Court orders.

For now, the High Court has effectively issued a temporary suspension of the official BFAA election results until the Social Welfare Ministry’s probe can determine whether the complaints have merit or whether the polls were conducted fairly.

Justice Hoque said if the inquiry does find evidence of illegalities, the court would consider appropriate further actions – including potentially annulling the entire BFAA election and calling fresh polls.