HC orders completion of 139 detainees’ trials by August

High Court.

The High Court has ordered the completion of the trials of 139 detainees imprisoned for over seven years at 68 prisons in eight divisions across the country by Aug 31.

Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim delivered a suo moto order on Monday when the matter of was brought to their attention by Supreme Court Legal Aide Panel lawyer Kumar Debul De.

High Court.

Deputy Attorney General Farhad Ahmed and Assistant Attorney General Yusuf Mahbub Morshed were also present at the time.

On Nov 19 of last year the Supreme Court legal aide had submitted a letter requesting information on detainees who had been held for over seven years due to trial procrastination or delays in 68 prisons in the eight divisions.

The prison authorities responded with a list of 256 detainees. The legal aide then scrutinised the list and selected 139 detainees who were then brought to the notice of the court.

“The court has ordered all of the detainees’ cases to be settled by Aug 31 and also ordered the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee to oversee the progress of the situation through reports from the judges presiding over the case,” said Debul De.

“The relevant case investigation officers have also been ordered to ensure witnesses appear before the court. The authorities have been advised to take action against any officials found lacking in fulfilling these duties.”

According to the list provided by the legal aide, 44 of the detainees are from the Dhaka division, 43 from the Chittagong division, 16 from Rajshahi, 12 from Sylhet, one from Barisal, five from Khulna, 10 from Rangpur and eight from Mymensingh.