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Cabinet okays court proceedings thru videoconferences

The approval comes at a cabinet meeting held at Ganobhaban with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. Photo: UNB

The cabinet on Thursday cleared the draft of an ordinance to pave the way for courts to run trial proceedings through videoconferences and other digital means using the information technology.

Since the court has remained closed for a long time, the backlog of cases is on the rise and the litigants are also being deprived of getting justice. So, it’s essential to conduct trial proceedings through videoconferences and other digital means for the sake of overcoming this situation (deadlock) and continuation of judicial activities.

Cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul

The approval came at a cabinet meeting held at Ganobhaban with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

“The law ministry placed a draft on the use of information technology by court ordinance 2020 (Adalat Kartik Tathiya Projukti Bebohar Oidhyadesh 2020) before the cabinet after the Supreme Court requested for enacting such a law,” said

According to the existing law, the trial proceedings are run in the physical presence of judges, counsels and witnesses in the court.

“Since the court has remained closed for a long time, the backlog of cases is on the rise and the litigants are also being deprived of getting justice. So, it’s essential to conduct trial proceedings through videoconferences and other digital means for the sake of overcoming this situation (deadlock) and continuation of judicial activities,” he added.

The cabinet secretary said if the ordinance is effective (after promulgation by the president), it will be possible for the judges to run the trial proceedings of the cases through videoconferences and other digital means keeping the accused in jails, the lawyers in their residences and the witnesses in other places during the coronavirus crisis.

The law ministry brought an ordinance instead of a bill as parliament is not in session now.

When parliament will go in its next session, the ordinance will be placed in the house for approval.

The cabinet meeting was held after a month with participation of a small group of cabinet members due to coronavirus pandemic.

Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan and law, justice and parliamentary affairs minister Anisul Huq attended the meeting.

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