The High Court today directed the judges of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunals across the country to complete in six months the trials of cases filed for rape and murder after rape.
It asked the tribunal judges to hold continuous hearing of the cases on every working day under the section 20 of Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000.
The court directed that a monitoring committee must be formed in every district in order to ensure the presence of the witnesses and their security at the court during the hearings.
The committees will be formed comprising additional district magistrate, additional superintendent of police (administration), a representative of the civil surgeon and the public prosecutor of the tribunal in order to ensure the presence of the witnesses and their security at the court during the hearings.
The public prosecutors of the tribunals will discharge duties as the coordinators of the monitoring committees and send the reports on its activities to the Supreme Court and the ministries of home and law.
The court said monitoring committees will be accountable if the state failed to produce the witnesses before the court on the scheduled days.
During hearing three appeals, the HC said the monitoring committees will observe whether summons are issued on the witnesses at the earliest possible times.
The tribunal will recommend for departmental action against the official witnesses like magistrate, police, doctor, and other experts if they do not appear before the court without satisfactory reason and will order for halting their salaries if it feels necessary.
The court opined that a law needs to be formulated immediately in order to give protection to the witnesses.
The court expected that the government will formulate the law within a very short time.
The HC bench of justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mustafijur Rahman came up with the directive after hearing the three appeals filed by three accused seeking bail in separate rape cases.
The court rejected the bail appeals of accused Md Rahel alias Rayhan, of Bogura and Sekandar Ali of Dhaka.
The court however granted bail to another accused Md Sarwar Rubel in such a case of Noakhali.