Cyber tribunals set up by govt in 8 divisions
The government has recently set up cyber tribunals in all eight divisions of the country in order to hold trials of cybercrimes related cases including those filed under the Digital Security Act.
Cases are filed under this law mainly for spreading rumours, creating confusion, tarnishing image, defamation and deteriorating law and order situation by using online platforms.
Earlier, there was one cyber tribunal in Dhaka for trying cases filed under the Information and Communication Technology Act.
The law ministry issued a gazette notification on April 4 to this effect saying that cyber tribunals have been formed under the Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006.
The names of the eight tribunals are--Cyber Tribunal, Dhaka; Cyber Tribunal, Chattogram; Cyber Tribunal, Rajshahi; Cyber Tribunal, Khulna; Cyber Tribunal, Barishal; Cyber Tribunal, Sylhet; Cyber Tribunal, Rangpur and Cyber Tribunal, Mymensingh.
The notification has determined the local jurisdiction of Cyber Tribunal, Dhaka, which are the districts of Dhaka, Narsingdi, Gazipur, Shariatpur, Narayananj, Tangail, Kishoreganj, Manikganj, Munshiganj, Rajbari, Madaripur, Faridpur and Gopalganj.
The cases filed in the districts other than the above mentioned 13 districts will be transferred from the Cyber Tribunal, Dhaka to other cyber tribunals concerned in 30 days, according to the gazette notification.
Contacted, Law Minister Anisul Huq told The Daily Star that his ministry has enhanced the number of cyber tribunals in order to help reduce backlogs of cybercrimes related cases filed under the Digital Security Act through their quick disposals.
Replying to a question, the law minister said the government is working to make sure that nobody will be arrested in the cases filed under the Digital Security Act witbout prior inquiry.
"We have made much progress to this effect," he said without elaborating
While asked whether the government will amend the Digital Security Act or incorporate any rule in it to stop its abuse, Minister Anisul Huq said, "Wait and see what we will do."
Supreme Court lawyer Mohammad Shishir Manir, who challenged two sections of the Digital Security Act through moving a writ petition before the High Court, told this correspondent that the cyber tribunals will hold trials of the cases filed under the Digital Security Act, 2018 for spreading rumour, creating confusion, tarnishing image, irritating and defamation and deteriorating law and order situation through using online platforms.
Preciously, these offences were included in controversial Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act, 2006. This section has been repealed from the ICT act and included in the DSA, he added.
Law ministry sources said the government has already appointed competent judges for conducting the cyber tribunals in eight divisions.