Virtual court ordinance ‘a landmark act’: Anisul

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DHAKA, May 10, 2020 (BSS) – Terming the recently issued ordinance to conduct trial through virtual court, a landmark act, Law Minister Anisul Huq said it proved that Bangladesh was not legging behind that much.

“It is a landmark act. It is an act to begin a new chapter in Bangladesh. We saw recently that the Supreme Court of the US is considering holding trial through virtual court amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. From that perspective, we can say that we are not lagging behind that much,” he told a video message from his Gulshan residence this evening.

The minister said these a day after President M Abdul Hamid issued ‘Usage of Information and Communication Technology in Court Ordinance, 2020,’ allowing virtual court functions for hearing and disposing of cases.

Anisul hoped that chief justice through practice direction would start function of the courts within a few days.

“Chief Justice, Appellate Division and the High Court Division of the Supreme Court will be able to conduct trial proceedings by setting up procedure through practice direction. After the amendment of evidence act, the lower courts will also be able to hold trial, record depositions, hear arguments and pass judgment through virtual court,” he added.

Anisul, who is a jurist himself, said according to the Code of Criminal Procedure, and in Code of Civil Procedure, it is compulsory for accused, witnesses and lawyers to be present in person at the court during the trial. But under this new ordinance, virtual attendance of concerned parties will be considered as personal appearance, he said.

While talking about training of the judges and the concerned officials and experience to conduct trial through this system, the law minister said, “We have no experience as the work is yet to start.”

“But when the work of the ordinance was going on, our judges and magistrates have received training in this regard. So I think in line with that training, they would be able to continue proceedings like bail hearing in small scale,” Anisul added.