In another blow to Bangladesh’s fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami party, the Supreme Court on Monday rejected its plea against a High Court verdict that declared it illegal and barred it from contesting future polls.

The chamber judge of the Appellate Division Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik rejected the Jamaat’s petition seeking stay on the High Court verdict on August 1.

The judge said there is no merit in the stay petition and the petitioner’s lawyer did not place any argument in support of it, The Daily Star reported.

The Jamaat could move a regular appeal before the Appellate Division against the verdict after getting its full text, the judge said.

The High Court had scrapped the Jamaat’s registration with the Election Commission (EC) and disqualified the country’s once-most powerful right-wing outfit from contesting future polls following a writ petition saying its charter breached the secular Constitution.

Bangladesh Tariqat Federation’s Secretary General Rezaul Haque Chandpuri and 24 others had filed the writ petition on January 25, 2009. Tariqat is a group that preaches Sufi philosophy and promotes secularism.

In the petition, they said the Jamaat was a religion-based political party and it did not believe in independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh.

The Tariqat Federation claimed in the petition that the Representation of People Order (RPO) law does not allow the registration of a communal outfit as a political party.

The verdict last week came amid intensified demands for outlawing the Jamaat blamed for “crimes against humanity” during the 1971 liberation war against Pakistan.

The Jamaat is a crucial ally of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party headed by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.