Courts, but virtual!
The ordinance on allowing virtual court functions will be issued by the next week, Law Minister Anisul Huq said today.
While talking to The Daily Star, the law minister said the process of finalising the ordinance is now underway.
"After the relevant procedures are finalised, I will sign it, and then it will be sent to the president for issuing the ordinance. Hopefully, the file regarding the ordinance will be sent to the president by Sunday," he said.
Replying to a question, Anisul said the function of the court will be for hearing and disposing of cases digitally through audio and video conferences at any time, in line with the proposed ordinance.
Regular activities of all courts across the country, including the Appellate and High Court Division, have been closed since March 26 due to the ongoing nationwide shutdown amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The closure is scheduled to stay till May 16.
Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain at a full-court meeting with the judges of the Appellate and High Court Divisions recently decided to request the government to take necessary steps to issue an ordinance so that the cases can be heard and disposed of through virtual court proceedings.
Several lawyers have requested the chief justice to allow virtual court functions during the ongoing closure.
Subsequently, the cabinet at a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair on Thursday approved an ordinance allowing courts to hold trials digitally using IT infrastructure.