The secretaries--Law Ministry's secretaries for Law and Justice Division and Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division, secretary of ministry of Social Welfare-- were asked to come up with answers of the previous order by September 7. According to court records, the senior government officials did not come up with any explanation.
In Monday's ruling, Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice JBM Hassan have asked the three secretaries to come up with an answer in three weeks why contempt of court proceedings will not be initiated against the them.
Different court records show three individuals moved with the High Court earlier this year seeking bail in four rape cases filed in Dhaka, Cox's Bazar and Rangpur. Of the cases two were filed under the Children act and two under the Women & Children Repression Prevention act.
The court asked the three secretaries to explain the matter as why the cases were filed in separate laws though the incidents were identical. They were also asked to explain the matter by September 7.
Under the Children Act, 2013, only the child court is empowered to hold trial of the offence if a child is a victim or witness of the case. But, there is no mention specifically in the law which court will hold the trial if an adult person is accused of the case.
Going through the vagueness of the law during hearing the bail petitions of four adult accused in separate cases under the children law, the HC bench in March this year sought explanations from four judges of child courts in Dhaka, Rangpur and Cox’s Bazar on this issue.
The HC also issued separate rules upon the government to explain as to why the accused petitioners should not be granted bail in the cases filed against them under the children law.
The judges of the child courts then submitted explanations saying that there is no specific provision in the Children Act, 2013 regarding what the process will be for granting bail to an adult accused and the trial of the case if the victim is a child.
After receiving the explanations from the child court judges, the HC bench on August 14 asked the three secretaries to give explanation on the ambiguity of the law.