Thursday, 23 March, 2023

Manual system in digital era

Arrest warrants still being sent to police by hand

Manual system in digital era

Digital Bangladesh is now a reality with an array of government services being provided digitally. Presently, the vision is to turn the country into a smart one.

However, arrest warrants in different cases still have to be sent to respective police stations manually for execution as the court activities are yet to go fully digital, wasting time and public money.

Allegations are there that many arrest warrants do not reach the destinations while a section of people take the opportunity to get innocent people arrested and extort money from others after faking arrest warrants.

Police officers and lawyers think a digital system should be introduced for sending arrest warrants to police stations and monitoring whether those are executed.

The digitisation will save both time and money, and pave the way for arrest of the accused quickly.

Contacted, Law Minister Anisul Huq told the Daily Sun that the matter of arrest warrant is very sensitive and his ministry will not digitalise the system before carrying out any examination.

“If we want to digitalise the process of sending warrants, we’ll have to go for an examination in this regard. Then we’ll be able to say whether the digital system is better or not,” he said. 

Asked, Assistant Inspector General (Media and PR) at the Police Headquarters Manzur Rahman told the Daily Sun that it will be better if a digital system is introduced for sending warrants.

They will work to this end, he added.

At present, the copy of an arrest warrant is manually sent to the prosecution unit of police after its issuance.

In city area, the prosecution division sends the copy to the police commissioner who then sends it to the respective police station manually for execution, according to the police department.

At the district level, an arrest warrant is manually sent to the superintendent of police (SP) who forwards it to the police station concerned in the same way.

However, warrants do no reach police stations concerned in some cases, allowing the accused to roam freely for lack of execution, leaving victims in anguish.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court-17 issued a warrant for the arrest of Kamrul Hasan Kamal of Begumganj upazila in Noakhali on February 3, 2020. The Noakhali SP was directed to execute the warrant issued in a fraud case filed with Shahbagh Police Station in the capital.

As per the process, the warrant should have reached the police station concerned via the SP office.

Advocate Raju Ahmed, the plaintiff of the case, contacted Begumganj Police Station as the accused could not be arrested even after a long time elapsed when officers concerned told him that they did not obtain the arrest warrant.

Then the plaintiff through another person reached a copy of the warrant to the station, but it still could be executed, said Ziaur Rahman, a victim of the fraudulence of Kamal, who is the son of Sayedur Haque of Krishnarampur (Forazibari) in Begumganj.

Nargis Akhter lodged a cheating case against Delwar Bepari, son of late Hazrat Ali Bepari and late Jahura Khatun of Kamalapur at Haimchar in Chandpur district, with Sabujbagh Police Station in the capital in 2018.

Later, a Dhaka court issued an arrest warrant for him, but Haimchar Police Station did not obtain a copy of the arrest warrant, said Nargis.

Mizanur Rahman, SP at Police Bureau of Investigation’s Dhaka Metro South Unit, said if the warrant is sent to the police station concerned digitally, it will reach the destination in no time and it will save time and money.

Contacted, Mohammad Anisur Rahman, deputy commissioner (Prosecution Division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told the Daily Sun that the digitisation is an ongoing process and the warrant sending system will also go online one day.

Advocate Mizanur said the digitisation of the process will yield good results, and curb corruption and illegal practice over the arrest warrants.