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Dispose of rape cases in 6 months: HC

Published : Friday, 19 July, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 797

The High Court on Thursday issued a seven-point directive, including the disposal of rape or murder cases within six months of filing those with Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunals.
The Bench of Justice Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman issued the order during hearing on three appeals filed by three accused seeking bail in separate rape cases filed under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000.
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.  
The court ordered continuing the cases every working day without any break after the start of hearing in the cases according to section 20 of the Act.
The court directed that a monitoring committee must be formed in every district with the Additional District Magistrate, Additional Superintendent of Police (Admin), a representative of Civil Surgeon, and related Public Prosecutor (PP) to ensure the presence and safety of witnesses of the cases.
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.
If there are multiple tribunals in a district, all the PPs will be included in the committee and the senior most one will coordinate the committee, it added.
The court said monitoring     committees will be accountable if the state failed to produce the witnesses before the court on the scheduled days.
The HC said the monitoring committees will observe whether summons was issued on the witnesses at the earliest possible time.
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.

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