The judiciary of Bangladesh is fraught with massive pendency of cases. Pendency of cases across the country has increased in the last couple of years.
The pendency is observed in all the levels of the judiciary, including higher courts, lower courts and special tribunals.
About 38,000 cases were pending in both the lower and higher court, including the
Supreme Court, till July this year.
Among the cases, nearly 6,000 cases were pending for 22 years or more than that in the lower courts across the country.
Against this backdrop, the Supreme Court authorities had taken initiatives to complete the trial process of those cases by December 1 this year on a priority basis.
Eight monitoring teams, headed by eight judges of the High Court, were formed to
monitor the trial proceedings of the subordinate courts across the country.
The monitoring teams sought statistics of the cases pending since 2000 or before that time from the subordinate courts. In response, the subordinate courts sent updated information on the cases filed in the year 2000 or before it.
A letter from the Supreme Court authorities sent to the subordinate courts said, “It is a legitimate expectation of the justice-seeking people that a case will be disposed of in time. The image of the judiciary is getting tarnished as the case is pending for more than
22 years. This is not expected in any way.” The letter instructed the lower courts to
dispose of the case within a short time.
Following a monitoring system initiated by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, the rate of case-disposal in both the higher and lower courts has increased in the current year compared to the last year and other years.
Alongside the monitoring system and instruction to the lower courts, the Supreme Court Authorities have also geared up their activities to dispose of cases pending in both the Appellate Division and High Court Division of the Supreme Court.
Against this backdrop, the number of cases disposed of in the High Court is increasing.
The disposal rate in the High Court is now higher than the filing rate.
According to the Supreme Court administration, the disposal rate is higher than the cases filed in the High Court division of the Supreme Court in August this year.
Spokesperson of the Supreme Court and registrar of Appellate Division Mohammad Saifur Rahman confirmed this information on Monday (October 24).
According to him, a total of 9,118 cases were filed in the High Court in one month as well as from August 1 to August 31 this year. At the same time, a total of 11,853 cases were disposed of in the High Court.
As a result, the number of disposal rate was higher than the number of cases filed in August, creating a record in the country’s judicial history.
Justice Hasan Foez Siddique on January 2 in 2022, the first working day after taking the charge as the Chief Justice, said that a monitoring cell headed by a judge of the High Court will be formed for each of the eight divisions of the country in order to resolve case backlog in lower courts and bring transparency in the judicial process.
The Chief Justice on January 27 gave the responsibility of the eight divisions to the eight judges of the High Court.
Following a monitoring system, the rate of case-disposal in lower courts has increased to 32.4 per cent in the first six months of the current year compared to the same period last year.
According to a report of Supreme Court administration, in the first six months, from January to June this year, the disposal rate of the cases was average 91.90 per cent.
However, at the same period in the last year, the average disposal rate of the cases was 59.50 per cent.
A total of 7,47,476 cases (civil and criminal) were filed and 6,86,952 were disposed of from January 1 to June 30; and 6,55,981 cases were filed and 3,90,311 were disposed of from January 1 to June 30 last year.
Lawyers and others involved in the judiciary said that the improvement came following the round-the-clock supervision, monitoring and leadership of the committees constituted by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique.
Advocate Md. Kamruzzaman, a lawyer of Dhaka, said that the increasing trend of case-disposal rate begins. “It a positive sign. We hope that the trend will continue and thousands of pending cases will be disposed of as soon as early.”