Trial of 1,70,242 narcotics cases stalled

High Court reproves government for not creating narcotics tribunals 

M Moneruzzaman | Published: 00:00, Aug 26,2019


The High Court Division on Sunday reproved the government for not creating tribunals under Section 44 of the Narcotic Control Act 2018 to try the accused in yaba and other narcotics cases.

A bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman also rebuked the secretaries of the ministries of home and law for their repeated failure to comply with several directives issued since July 8 asking them to submit separate reports whether or not additional district and sessions judges or metropolitan sessions judges were empowered to try persons accused in yaba and the other narcotic cases until the tribunals were created.

The bench set a fresh deadline until October 13 to the two secretaries to comply with the standing directives, the 1st one requires creating the tribunals while the 2nd one requires empowering additional district judges or metropolitan sessions judges to hold the trials.

The court rebuked the government.

Appearing for the government, attorney general Mahbubey Alam submitted that he had no word to say in defence of the inaction of the government.

Until June 30, trial of at least 1,70,242 narcotics cases had been stalled in 64 district courts or metropolitan courts.

The court issued the directives while hearing the bail petition of Masudul Haque Masud,  detained since January 22 allegedly for  possessing 12 grams of heroin and 10 yaba tablets.

The bench granted six months’ ad interim bail to Masud.

His lawyer Faishal Shiddique submitted that a  joint metropolitan sessions judge was illegally holding his trial  in violation of the Narcotic Control Act 2018.

He also submitted that Dhaka metropolitan sessions judge violated the Narcotic Control Act 2018  by taking charges mentioned in Masud’s case into cognizance and by sending his case to the court of joint metropolitan judges instead of to the court additional metropolitan sessions judge for the trial.

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