Bangladesh CJ orders resumption of in-person HC hearings

Bangladesh Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain has ordered the resumption of in-person hearings at the High Court from Wednesday after case proceedings in the e-justice system continued for three months amid the coronavirus pandemic

Aug 11, 2020
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Bangladesh Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain has ordered the resumption of in-person hearings at the High Court from Wednesday after case proceedings in the e-justice system continued for three months amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He formed 18 regular High Court benches along with 35 virtual ones for the hearings, according to notices issued by the Supreme Court's Deputy Registrar Mohammad Aktaruzzaman Bhuiyan on Monday.

The regular benches include 13 division benches and five single-judge ones while the virtual benches will have 24 division ones and 11 single-judge benches, bdnews24 reported.

The authorities must ensure that everyone follows the instructions issued by the High Court on the safety of people on the court premises and inside the courtrooms.

It comes six days after the lower courts returned to normal proceedings.

The three months of e-justice system followed a suspension for another month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Supreme Court went on a general holiday after the government announced a 66-day lockdown in late March after the first coronavirus cases were detected in Bangladesh.

The country's judiciary entered a new era with the launch of e-justice as the lower courts began hearing cases remotely on May 11 following the Chief Justice's directives, said the bdnews24 report.

Lawyers filed pleas online for hearings in courts remotely via video conferencing and other digital means.

The lawyers demanded reopening of the courts as the types of cases for virtual hearing were limited, and there were certain issues related to the use of ICT, new to many of the senior advocates.

The courts, however, continued virtually even after the general holiday of offices and workplaces ended on May 30.

The Supreme Court Bar Association also demanded the reopening of the top court last month. (IANS)