Village courts likely to reduce pressure on regular courts | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 18, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 18, 2009

Village courts likely to reduce pressure on regular courts

Says LGRD minister

LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said the government is likely to form village court to reduce the pressure of a huge backlog of cases on regular courts.
“Thousands of cases have been pending due to an overload of many unnecessary cases in the regular courts. The village court can solve the problem through ending the dispute on family and land issues,” he told reporters after a meeting with a European Commission delegation at his office.
Asked about the possibility of using the rural court politically, he said the village court cannot give the judgment on any kind of crime. So the court is not motivated by the political parties.
Ashraful, also Awami League spokesman, said traditionally village-based court system is operative in the country where local leaders of society usually resolve minor conflicts prevailing in the villages. As a result of such arbitration, regular courts get rid of recording at least one crore cases a year.
“We think these traditional village courts should be incorporated into legal framework to make the system transparent and effective,” he said about the thinking of the new government.
About ratification of the Local Government (Upazila Parihsad) Ordinance, he said the government sought to ratify the ordinance related to election and finance, promulgated during the immediate-past caretaker government, according to the recommendation of the special committee of parliament.
Replying to a question, he said lawmakers would look into the issues whether balanced development activities are being conducted locally and would give necessary directions to upazila chairmen on various issues. “It would not create any conflict between the lawmaker and upazila chairman concerned.”
EC ambassador Dr Stefan Frowein, who led the delegation, emphasised the need for divesting power to local level for decentralisation of power.
“We want to work with the government at the local level so that local government becomes stronger,” said the envoy of European development partners.
He said the EC sought to support on village court to solve smaller problems people have with each other without involving the court or higher level. “We feel that it can make easier to solve problem locally,” he said.

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