Regular functions of lower courts to resume August 5

After more than four months of closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, lower courts across the country are going to resume regular functions from August 5.

Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain took the decision to do so and the Supreme Court administration issued two separate notices to this effect last night.

The courts will begin functions from August 5 strictly maintaining physical distance and following the health guidelines, the notices said.

It was also stated that Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, after consulting with senior judges of the SC, has decided to resume the regular functions of all the civil and criminal courts and tribunals of the country from August 5.

Another notice stated the necessary directives for maintaining the health measures in place for judges, lawyers and other concerned in line with the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization and the Directorate General of Health Services of the country.

According to the directives, all the lawyers and other concerned must wear facemasks at the courtrooms and on court premises.

No more than six people can be present in a courtroom and the judges concerned will give necessary directives to maintain the health measures inside the courtrooms.

However, no decision has yet been taken about resuming the regular functions of the Appellate and High Court Divisions of the SC, court sources said.

The chief justice on March 25 this year declared closure for all the courts including the Appellate and High Court Divisions of the SC from March 26 due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

However, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud on May 10 decided to run virtual court operations through using ICT under the Usage of Information Technology by Court, 2020.

The CJ on the same day (May 10), issued some directives under the ordinance for the courts about dealing with urgent cases through using ICT during the closure.

Since May 11, the courts of the country, including the apex court started virtual judicial functions under the same ordinance.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) recently requested the chief justice to immediately resume regular functions of courts across the country for the sake of lawyers and litigants.

SCBA Secretary Barrister Md Ruhul Quddus Kazal sent a letter to the office of the chief justice both manually and virtually saying lawyers have been facing serious procedural problems in filing and moving cases, bringing the cases in the cause list and sending court orders to the recipients using the current virtual court system.

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