The court needs to be informed about the security measures by July 30
The High Court has asked about the measures taken to ensure the security of judges, lawyers, and officials in courts across Bangladesh.
The bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and KM Kamrul Kader gave the order on Wednesday, following the hearing of a writ petition filed in connection with one accused being stabbed to death by another in a Comilla courtroom on Monday during court proceedings.
Advocate Ishrat Hasan stood for the writ, and Deputy Attorney General ABM Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar represented the state.
The court also ordered the state lawyer to present information about the steps taken against those in charge of security at the Comilla Additional District and Sessions Judge’s court, where the stabbing incident took place.
At the hearing, the court said that besides the Comilla court incident, another incident happened on the Supreme Court Bar Association premises, and inquired about the steps taken to ensure the security of the court and its judges, lawyers, and other staff.
The state lawyer said both the Comilla and the SC Bar incident were personal clashes.
The court inquired: “personal conflict or otherwise, how could anyone enter a court with a knife? What were the police doing? It is definitely police negligence.”
Writ petitioner Ishrat Hasan said: “Security is for every person. The state lawyer here could have fallen victim to such a situation. So, security for the judges, lawyers, and others in the courts, needs to be ensured.”
After the Comilla incident Supreme Court lawyer, Advocate Ishrat Hasan filed the writ with the High Court on Tuesday.
The SC lawyer in the writ petition sought directives from the HC to the government authorities concerned, to take proper security measures for judges, lawyers, and officials in the courts.
The court adjourned the petition hearing for two weeks and also asked the government authorities concerned to provide information by July 30, about the steps taken to ensure proper security measures in courts across the country.
Incidents across the country
On July 15, a person accused of murder was chased and stabbed to death by his cousin, a co-accused, inside a judge’s chamber in a Comilla courtroom, while the trial of the case was in progress.
On July 16, after getting bail from the High Court, another murder case accused, Sirajul Islam, was attacked and beaten by plaintiffs at the Supreme Court Bar Association. Sirajul's lawyer, Abdul Aowal also got beaten up trying to protect his client.
On the same day Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the authorities concerned are verifying whether there was any negligence in providing security at the Comilla courtroom, where a person accused of murder was stabbed to death.
On Tuesday, at the ongoing DC Conference 2019 in the cabinet division conference room, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq said, he spoke to the superintendent of police after the incident in Comilla, and asked him to raise security at the courts.
Poor security at apex court
Security measures at the Supreme Court and lower court premises have been found to be lax, owing mostly to an acute staff shortage and inadequate equipment.
Security archways at the entrances to the Supreme Court complex, and the judges’ corner are out of order.
Dhaka Tribune ran a report “Are our courts safe?” on April 9 of this year.