Govt introduces digital summons to expedite disposal of criminal cases

Staff Correspondent

19 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The government has introduced digital summons to be sent to parties to criminal cases and witnesses asking for their appearance before the concerned courts on the dates of hearings.

Under the system, the officials of the court concerned will send SMS to the mobiles of complainant, accused and witnesses to a criminal case informing them of the date of hearing and asking for their appearance before the respective courts.

The Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs has primarily inducted SMS service in the district courts of Cumilla and Narsingdi under a pilot project.

Inauguration of the SMS service  was held at the law ministry and it was attended by Law Minister Anisul Huq as the chief guest on Thursday.

Apart from sending SMS, the court authorities will send hard copies of the summons to the addresses of the litigants and witnesses.

The SMS system will be gradually applied to all courts across the country, sources at the law ministry said. 

Speaking at augural session, law minister Anisul Huq termed the SMS system ‘a milestone step taken by the government to reduce case backlog and sufferings of the litigants’.

Absence of witnesses is contributing to the backlog of cases and causing sufferings of the litigants, said the law minister.

“One of the major reasons for case backlog is absence of witnesses from the court on the date of hearing. Many witnesses cannot appear before the court timely for not getting the summons. Such incidents are rampant. The SMS service will resolve the problem,” he said.

Terming SMS ‘a record’, the law minister said witnesses will not be able to be absent from the court on the pretext of not getting the summons.

Law and justice division secretary Md Golam Sarwar presided over the programme. Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs secretary Md Mainul Kabir, Posts and Telecommunications secretary Md Afzal Hossain, Cumilla district and sessions judge Md Atabullah, Narsingdi district and sessions Judge Mostak Ahmed and Teletalk Bangladesh managing director Md Shahab Uddin were also present at the inaugural ceremony.