Sunday, May 26, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Speedy Trial Bill passed in parliament

  • Home Minister Asaduzzman Khan Kamal moved the bill
  • Main opposition Jatiya Party strongly opposed the bill
Update : 05 Mar 2024, 08:33 PM

The Speedy Trial (amendment) Bill 2024 was passed in parliament on Tuesday aiming to make it a permanent legislation instead of implementing it step by step.

Home Minister Asaduzzman Khan Kamal moved the bill and it was passed by voice vote.

The main opposition Jatiya Party strongly opposed the bill saying that the law is used to oppress the opposition.

Three JP MPs – Mujubul Haque Chunnu, Hafiz Uddin Ahmed and Masud Uddin Chowdhury who took part in the discussion on the bill demanded to send the bill to a committee for eliciting public opinion. But their proposal was rejected by voice vote.

Participating in the discussion of the bill, Chunnu said that when the BNP-Jamaat government passed the law in 2002, then opposition Awami League said it was an oppressive black law. This law can be used to harass citizens for political reasons or for any reason if the government wants.

“Now you have kept that law. I do not know why? When you will not be in power, someone else will come to power and their intention might not be good,” he said.

Chunnu requested the government not to make the law permanent. Instead, he suggested increasing the tenure of the law by one or two years. Otherwise, the government may have to repent for it in future.

Hafiz Uddin said if anyone digs a hole, s/he has to fall into that hole. Today, BNP has fallen into that hole. Now Awami League is making the law permanent.

In reply, the home boss said there was an anarchic situation in Bangladesh when the law was passed. There were various types of crimes at that time and because of that the then government might have enacted it.

“I think the purpose of the law was to give people instant justice. The main objective was to punish the criminals speedily”, he also said.

The home minister said that the bill was not intended to harm anyone. No political leader can say that h/she was punished under this law.

The Act was first enacted in 2002 for two years. Later duration of the law was extended in seven phases. The law was last amended in 2019 and its duration was extended. Before today’s passage the law is expire on April 9.

The government has decided to make the law permanent without extending it. This decision was taken in the cabinet on January 29. After the approval of the cabinet, the bill was placed in parliament today.

The bill does not propose any amendment other than making the law permanent. Therefore, the all the existing sections of the law will remain as it is now.

In the objective of the bill, the home minister said, the Speedy Trial Act was enacted in 2002 in a bid to provide speedy trial in serious offences like extortion, creating obstacles during the movement of vehicles, damaging vehicles, destroying immovable and immovable property, robbery, banditry, creating terror and anarchic situations, buying tenders and to improve the law and order situation of the country.

In order to keep the overall law and order situation of the country normal and for further improvement, it is necessary to make this law permanent without extending it again and again at the end of the period, the home minister said in a written statement.

Indictment under this law can result in two to five years of imprisonment with hard labour along with fines. The trials are carried out by multiple speedy tribunals in every district.

Offences that fall under the Speedy Trial Act are supposed to be settled in 120 days. In case of failure to do so, another 60 days can be added to the term.

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