The Supreme Court on Saturday ordered physical hearing of petitions of accused people in criminal cases to surrender to certain courts.
A circular issued by Supreme Court registrar general Md Ali Akbar asked the chief judicial magistrates, chief metropolitan magistrates and judges of the tribunals on women and children repression, human trafficking and cyber crimes to operate physically to deal with such petitions.
It also asked them to detail out guidelines and procedures of the hearing maintaining social distancing in their courtrooms and court premises to contain Covid infections.
The order would come into effect immediately, said the circular.
The circular came amid the growing demands from the lawyers to operate all the courts physically across the country so that litigants could avail all types of legal remedy.
In another notification, chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain on Saturday ordered operating seven more online High Court benches from today, increasing the total number of such benches to 16 from nine.
The new benches include three courts to hear bail prayers, one court to hear urgent writ petitions, one single-judge bench to hear bail prayer of convicts serving sentences below seven years and two other single-judge benches to hear civil petitions involving decree of Tk 6 crore.
Supreme Court lawyers have been demanding to the chief justice for the last few days to operate some courts physically so that accused people could seek anticipatory bail in the High Court without surrendering to the lower courts.
On April 29, chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain forbade the High Court from hearing petitions seeking anticipatory bail as one online HC bench was enlisted for petitions of accused people seeking anticipatory bails.
Courts across the country have been operating on limited scale only to hear online urgent cases, mostly bail prayers of detained accused, since April 5 when the government imposed restrictions on movements and overall activities to contain the fresh wave of Covid infections.
Later, the chief justice ordered operating of some courts of judicial magistrates, metropolitan magistrates and assistant judges physically to record complaints and succession cases.
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