JS passes Speedy Trial (Amendment) bill

Special Correspondent

10 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Parliament on Tuesday passed the Law and Order Disruption (Speedy Trial) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 extending its validity till 2024.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan placed the bill before the House seeking its immediate passage as the duration of the law, which deals with serious crimes, including extortion and vandalism, expired on April 9 in 2019.

The House with Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah in the chair passed the bill by voice votes, rejecting all the amendment proposals put forwarded by the opposition lawmakers.

Opposition lawmakers, including Fakhrul Imam, Rustam Ali Farazi, Harun Ur Rashid, Rumeen

Farhana and Mosharraf Hossain asked the government to send the bill again to the concerned parliamentary standing committee for further scrutiny.

Terming it a black law, they said the police often misuse the law and punish the opposition leaders, activists and innocent people.

In reply, the home minister urged the opposition lawmakers to mention how many opposition leaders had been charged under the law so far.

“As we have not included anything new in the law, it is not necessary to take further scrutiny on the law,” he said. According to the bill, anyone responsible for committing crimes disrupting law and order will face minimum two years and maximum seven years of rigorous imprisonment along with fine.

The trial of some offences disrupting the law-and-order situation like extortion, disrupting traffic movement, vandalism, tender manipulation, giving threats, mugging, terrorising people as well as vandalism of public property and immovable property will come under the purview of the amended law as in the existing one.

Under the proposed law, the government on special power will appoint a first class magistrate for conducting the speedy trial court.

The original Law and Order Disruption (Speedy Trial) Act was first framed in 2002. When the act was enacted in 2002, it had tenure of 17 years, which ended on April 19, 2019. It has now tenure of 22 years, instead of the original 17 years.

Earlier, the cabinet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair nodded the bill.