The lower court judges, public prosecutors and police officials concerned did not give any reason for failing to dispose of women and children repression cases in 180 days, the law ministry and the Supreme Court administration told the High Court yesterday.
The Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, 2000 stipulates that a Nari O Shishu Nirjaton Daman Tribunal has to finish the trial of such a case within 180 days after framing of charges.
According to section 31(ka) of the law, if the deadline cannot be met, the tribunal judge, public prosecutor and police official concerned have to submit separate reports to the SC and the government, mentioning the reasons for missing the deadline, and then the SC and the government will take necessary steps.
Yesterday, the law ministry and the SC registrar general's office submitted two reports to the HC, saying that the judges of the 54 tribunals across the country didn't give any reason for missing the deadline.
The SC registrar general's report said the SC administration recently issued a circular asking the tribunal judges to follow the provisions of the law.
The law ministry in its report said it asked the public prosecutors to follow the legal provisions, Assistant Attorney General Shahidul Islam Khan told The Daily Star.
After examining the reports, the HC asked the authorities concerned to ensure that provisions of section 31(ka) of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act are strictly applied in practice and appropriate actions are taken against the judges, public prosecutors and investigating officers for failure to comply with the law.
The SC administration, the law ministry and the home ministry will take action against the judge, the public prosecutor and the investigating officer concerned.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice JBM Hassan passed the order during the hearing of a suo motu case on the issue.
The judges on November 1 had asked the law secretary and the SC registrar general to explain in 30 days whether the legal provisions are applied in practice and the SC and law ministry have taken any step in this regard.
The bench had passed the order during hearing a bail petition of Milad Hossain, accused in a case filed under the law.
Petitioner's lawyer Cumar Debul Dey said the case was filed with Rangunia Police Station in Chittagong on February 19 last year against Milad on charge of killing his wife.
The case was transferred to the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-2 of Chittagong.
The tribunal framed charges in the case on March 21 this year, but could not finish the trial in 180 days, the lawyer said, adding that no witness in the case appeared before the court yet.
Milad, now behind bars, recently filed a petition with the HC seeking bail in the case.
The HC yesterday ordered the lower court to finish the trial in 60 days.