SC asks lower courts to hear complaint cases
The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday asked all Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunals, Chief Judicial Magistrates and Chief Metropolitan Magistrates across the country to receive filing of complaint cases.
Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain took the decision after discussions with senior judges of the SC, according to a circular issued by the Supreme Court administration.
SC Registrar Md Ali Akbar signed the circular, saying that the conducting tribunals and magistrate courts will receive the cases, maintaining physical distancing and strictly following health guidelines.
The tribunal judges and magistrates concerned will decide on the necessary action plans to maintain physical distancing in the courtrooms during the filings and examining the cases and complainants respectively, in order to contain the spread of coronavirus, according to the notification.
The tribunals and magistrates will receive filings of certain cases so that mass gathering cannot take place at the concerned courts during the proceedings.
On completion of one case, the tribunals and magistrates can hear another case.
The circular also said a maximum of six people -- including lawyers and accused -- can stay in a courtroom during the hearing of a case, wearing face masks.
Earlier, the SC allowed all the magistrates to receive filings of cheque dishonor cases under the Negotiable Instruments Act-1881 through videoconferencing.
Meantime, the SC issued another circular which empowered the lower courts across the country to receive surrender petitions seeking bail of accused in criminal cases.
Earlier, the lower courts were allowed to hear and dispose of only bail petitions filed by the detained accused.
The regular activities of courts remained closed since March 26 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.