The High Court of Bangladesh on Monday directed concerned trial courts to finish the case proceedings by August 31, against 139 undertrial prisoners, lodged in 68 jails across the country for more than seven years.
On failing to finish the cases by due date, the lower courts will have to submit the reports on the progress of the trial proceedings to the Supreme Court monitoring committee.
The High Court ordered the respective investigation officers (IOs) to ensure the presence of the witnesses to the lower courts for settling the cases, and also directed government authorities to take departmental actions against the IOs failing to discharge this duty.
The HC also directed the deputy commissioners and superintendents of police across the country to provide necessary assistance in finishing the trial proceedings.
The order was issued on a suo moto (voluntary) move by the HC bench of Justices M Enayetur Rahim and Shahidul Karim, on the prayer of Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee panel lawyer Advocate Kumar Debul Dey.
The committee prepared the case details of the 139 undertrial prisoners accused of various crimes including murder, after examining dockets of cases against a total of 256 prisoners who are in jails for more than seven years.
On November 19 last year, the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee sent a letter to the jail authorities seeking a list of the undertrial prisoners, following which a list of 256 undertrial prisoners was submitted on December 31.