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B’desh issues ordinance to conduct online court proceedings

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Dhaka, May 10 (IANS) The Bangladesh government has issued an ordinance to introduce online court proceedings via-video conference and other digital media amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, it was reported on Sunday.

The Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division gazetted the ordinance on Saturday after the Cabinet had approved it on May 7, reports bdnews24.

According to the existing law, the plaintiffs, defendants and their legal counsels must attend the court proceedings physically to run a trial.

But like many other countries, Bangladesh has enforced a lockdown since March 26 closing all government and private offices, courts and banning mass gatherings.

The Supreme Court later asked the government to introduce information technology to conduct proceedings.

The ordinance has given the courts powers to use information technology for the virtual presence of the parties in trial, inquiry, hearing, testimony, argument, order and judgment, irrespective of what other criminal and civil laws state.

The other rules of court proceedings will remain unchanged.

Virtual presence will mean the presence of a party through audio, video or any other digital media.

The Supreme Court’s Appellate Division or sometimes the High Court Division can issue special or general directives on practice.

Bangladesh has so far reported 13,770 COVID-19 cases, with 214 deaths.



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