DhakaTribune
Saturday December 16, 2017 05:07 PM

The mobile court system is broken

  • Published at 05:56 PM December 06, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:37 AM December 07, 2017
The mobile court system is broken
Photo: SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

While mobile courts serve a rather crucial purpose -- that of providing quick and efficient verdicts in a nation as populated as ours, thereby reducing the backlog -- the way they function must be reformed

The Mobile Court Act of 2009, as it stands, is flawed and unfair.

By allowing a single individual to play the roles of plaintiff, investigator, and judge, it gives too much power to rest in the hands of the person in charge of the case.

Is it any surprise, then, that so many executive magistrates, who are in charge of these mobile courts, find themselves accused of behaviourial misconduct?

Many of these magistrates are found to be using their power to extort and oftentimes bully people, either for money or personal gain.

That these courts are defective and unjust is reflected in the fact that most mobile court judgements are overturned once they reach the judge.

While mobile courts serve a rather crucial purpose — that of providing quick and efficient verdicts in a nation as populated as ours, thereby reducing the backlog — the way they function must be reformed.

Experts have suggested that, instead of executive magistrates, judicial magistrates should be in charge.

It is also important that we create a more efficient judiciary, which allows for justice to be served promptly and effectively.

The Mobile Court Act-2009, in its current form, allows a suspect to be reprimanded based on confession only, when in fact, the burden of proof should be much heavier in order to have a free and fair process.

Though multiple initiatives have been taken to amend the Act, no real change has taken place as of yet.

At this point in time, it is imperative that the government take note and implement these changes. It is the only way to ensure that the people of this country receive the justice they deserve.

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