Bangladesh introduces e-justice in time of coronavirus pandemic

Information technology has ushered Bangladesh’s judiciary to a new era with the launch of e-justice amid the coronavirus pandemic as lawyers filed pleas for hearing in courts remotely via video conferencing and other digital means on Monday.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 11 May 2020, 05:55 PM
Updated : 11 May 2020, 05:55 PM

“It’s a special day for the judiciary of Bangladesh. I hope court proceedings are successfully conducted through this process,” Md Saifur Rahman, the Supreme Court’s spokesman and special officer of the High Court Division, told bdnews24.com.

He confirmed that the e-justice procedure started all over the country in the morning after Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain on Sunday issued directives on conducting court proceedings remotely.

“It’s undoubtedly the best step to ensure the people’s legal rights at this moment,” Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar Association President AM Amin Uddin said.    

“But there are some problems. The judges, lawyers and court officials may face some problems initially because we are not used to it. But I believe if we get training and involve everyone with the process, it will yield results,” he added.

The lawyers filed a total of 11 bail appeals with the High Court on the first day. The judges will decide whether to hear the cases or not. The lawyers have been asked to explain the urgency of virtual hearing in the applications emailed to the related court.

An official, requesting anonymity, alleged “mismanagement”. “No one can give a clear picture,” he said.

The UNDP said it would give us a link and software. It would also create an email account to which the lawyers would send their applications. I don’t understand how the lawyers have submitted the petitions,” the official said.

Lawyer Shishir Monir, who filed a petition seeking bail for the Daily Sangram Editor Abul Asad, pointed out two issues.

“We can’t track our petitions. We have to wait until the court responds via SMS and email,” he said.

“And secondly, we have to collect the Vakalatnama from the jail authorities. How will I get the papers from the jail authorities amid this shutdown? So, there should be a digital system for this,” he added.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher