Appellate division to hear emergency cases from Monday
The Supreme Court (SC) has directed all Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunals, Chief Judicial Magistrate, and Chief Metropolitan Magistrate courts across the country to receive and hear cases of complainants.
Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain took the decision after discussions with senior justices, and the Supreme Court administration informed the media on Sunday.
The circular signed by Md Ali Akbar, registrar general of the SC, said tribunals and magistrate courts will receive the cases maintaining physical distancing and strictly following health guidelines.
The circular also said tribunal judges and magistrates will take decisions on the necessary action plans to maintain physical distancing in the courtrooms during the filing and examining of cases and complainants.
A maximum of six people, including lawyers and the accused, may stay in a courtroom during the hearing of a case and all must wear face masks, the circular added.
On July 11, the SC issued extended directions to its July 4 empowerment of lower courts across the country to receive surrender petitions seeking the bail of accused in criminal cases, saying a maximum of five people can stay in courtrooms and all must wear masks.
Earlier, the SC allowed all magistrates to receive cheque dishonor cases under the Negotiable Instruments Act-1881 through videoconferencing.
Another circular said, from July 13, the Appellate Division would conduct virtual hearings on emergency matters from 10am to 1:15pm.
On May 10, the chief justice issued directives and a user manual in line with the ordinance issued by President Md Abdul Hamid on May 9, allowing regular court proceedings to be conducted virtually during the Covid-19 lockdown in Bangladesh.