Judicial Administration: Large number of staffers involved in graft: AG

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam talks on Khaleda Zia's election participation
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam. Star file photo

Citing irregularities in the judicial and administrative functions of the Supreme Court's High Court Division, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam yesterday said the “judiciary had seen degradation” in the last few years, and the image of the HC had changed.

The image of the whole judiciary is being damaged by some HC judges' failure to run their courts properly, he said, adding that a number of court officials and employees were involved in corruption.

The attorney general made the comments while speaking at a function organised to accord felicitations to newly appointed Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain at the Courtroom-1 of the SC's Appellate Division.

“Earlier, I had mentioned some examples of degradation of this court [HC] during the felicitations to a chief justice.

The chief justice had taken steps to conduct a probe following my statement, and the probe had progressed to some extent. But the next chief justice came and the relevant file went missing from his office,” Mahbubey Alam said.

He said the HC had issued rules and passed ad-interim orders in maximum 75 percent cases tops.

“But the High Court now issues rules in about 99 percent cases and refuses to pass orders in a very few cases. On many occasions, the High Court passed orders violating the order and instruction of the Appellate Division.        

“I'm not making sweeping comments about all the benches of the High Court. Many judges have kept the judicial work in their hands, and the court officials are being bound to act in line with their instructions … But the image of the whole judiciary is being damaged due to mismanagement of a few judges in running their courts,” he said.

Mahbubey Alam said some judges are completely dependent on their bench officers. They do not pay any heed to lawyers' prayers; rather they are “influenced” by the bench officers.

“A judge has already retired. Every judgment delivered by the judge contained similar words and many [lawyers and judges] used to laugh, saying that the bench officers perhaps had written the verdicts instead. Before retiring, the judge even delivered a judgment in a case although it was not prepared for hearing and not in the cause-list.”

The attorney general said a few judges were granting bail and passing stay orders in the cases without including them in the cause-list, “which had been brought to your (Appellate Division judges) notice. What could be more unfortunate than this?

“There is inconsistency in the judges' sitting in and leaving the courtrooms according to the time fixed in the cause-list. The judicial system will collapse, if this situation continues. I think a large number of court officials and employees have already been involved in corruption. If this situation persists, it will be difficult for those who are still honest to stay honest,” he said.

Mahbubey Alam, the top law officer of the state, said the most awful matter was that some particular courts had become the courts of particular lawyers.

“The litigants have come to know which lawyers and courts can get them victories in their cases. … Many litigants are rushing to the lawyers who are children or wives of judges, considering that they can win their cases if they engage such lawyers.”

The attorney general said relatives and children of judges had been in legal profession in the past, but such situation had not been seen.

Mahbubey Alam said some dishonest employees of the court were making lakhs of taka by preparing the cause-lists.

“Some cases are being heard at a rocket speed while the others cannot be heard,” he said, adding that judgments of many cases were not being delivered for several months and full texts of judgments were not being released in several months after the verdicts had been delivered.

The attorney general said the accused of some cases got released from jail with fake court orders of bail.