Friday, May 22, 2020 02:56:46 AM
Bangladesh’s lower courts have granted bail to 144 suspects after hearing more than 150 petitions via video conferencing in two days after the introduction of e-justice system amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Besides the lower courts, the lawyers submitted 150 bail petitions to the High Court on Monday and Tuesday, according to Mohammad Saifur Rahman, the spokesman for the Supreme Court and High Court Division’s special officer.
The lawyers presented the arguments through video links provided by the courts while the judges heard the cases remotely.
The e-justice procedure started all over the country through the submission of the petitions on Monday after Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain issued directives on conducting court proceedings remotely on Sunday.
The High Court instructed the government to take measures to save the dolphins of the Halda River in Chattogram in the first virtual order.
Lawyers, however, have given mixed reactions to the e-justice system. They have announced a boycott of the system in many districts citing a lack of training.
Some members of Dhaka Bar Association said the main purpose of the e-justice system – to avoid risk of coronavirus infection – is not being served as they must visit the courts to collect Vakalatnama, bail bonds, orders and other papers.
They fear corrupt officials will change names on scanned copies of bail bonds and orders for the release of wrong defendants.
“The petitioners and the lawyers won’t benefit because it’s something between analogue and digital,” lawyer Parvez Hashem said of the e-justice system.
He also feared the possibility of a lack of transparency.
“It will give the partisan lawyers more scope to get priority as the hearings are not held publicly,” the lawyer said.
Some others were wary that corrupt clerks may draw the court fees deposited with the Vakalatnama, petition and bail bond and the government would lose revenue.
Almost all of the lawyers whom bdnews24.com spoke with said senior lawyers were not comfortable with IT use.
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