The cabinet today extended by another five years till 2024 the Speedy Trial Act that deals with serious crimes such as extortion, vandalism and tender manipulation.
The move came after the cabinet approved the draft of “Law and Order Disruption (Speedy Trial) (Amendment) Bill, 2019” during a meeting, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, Cabinet Secretary M Shafiul Alam told journalists this afternoon.
In its last amendment in 2014, a bill was passed to amend the law and extend it to remain effective till April 7, 2019.
Although the tenure of the law was not extended in the latest amendment, the fresh increase in the penalty has been raised.
Initially, it was assumed that the law will make significant contributions towards reducing the tardiness in the trial processes in the judiciary of Bangladesh.
However, civil society members remain concerned over “the implementation of the law” and increase of its time through repeated amendments in the past years, it also said.
The Law and Order Disruption (Speedy Trial) Act was first promulgated in 2002, by the then BNP-led government for a period of two years.
The purpose of the act was to speed up trials in some serious offences like extortion, disrupting the transportation services, vandalism of vehicles, tender manipulation, mugging, creating fear among the people.
Since then the law survived through extensions despite changes in the government.
The law was amended in 2004, 2006 and 2012 to extend its tenure.
The current government felt the need to extend the tenure of the Act to contain, investigate and hold trial of some major crimes and settle those quickly apart from dissolving the pending 1703 cases without any delay, the bill said in its objectives.
Meanwhile, at the meeting, no decision has been taken on the holiday in next week, the cabinet secretary said.