Lawyers have started submitting urgent petitions to concerned courts since the Supreme Court gave directions to conduct case hearings virtually amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to sources, the three High Court benches – led by Justice Obaidul Hassan, Justice Jahangir Hossain, and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar –received one writ and three bail petitions on Monday, the first day of the country’s virtual court system.
Barrister Abdul Kaium filed the writ petition – regarding the recent killing of a Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica) in the Halda River – by email with the bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan.
Among others, the secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, and director general of the Department of Environment, have been made respondents for this writ.
Three bail petitions have been filed with the bench of Justice Jahangir Hossain by Advocate Mohammad Shishir Monir, Dr Dewan Abu Obayed Hossain, and Md Sahin Mia.
The court has fixed Wednesday for a hearing, added court sources.
Shishir Monir filed the bail petition on behalf of Abul Asad, editor of Bangla newspaper The Daily Sangram.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge Court, Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (CMM), and Dhaka Chief Judicial Magistrate Court have issued notices – including the Supreme Court directions – regarding hearing cases virtually and sent them to the concerned offices.
The courts also asked the lawyers to send their applications by email so they can prioritize the cases for virtual hearings. The courts will first hear the petitions pending since March 29, depending on their urgency.
Contacted, Dhaka Bar Association President Iqbal Hossain said he has received the notice and will convey the message to lawyers in the association regarding the instructions and directions for virtual hearings of cases.
Meanwhile, Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate AM Zulfiker Hayat formed four courts for holding hearings on bail petitions in the cases filed with the 49 police stations under Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).
The four courts are of Metropolitan Magistrates Sarafuzzaman Ansary, Sadbir Yasir Ahsan Chowdhury, Debdash Chandra Adhikary, and Rajesh Chowdhury.
Dhaka Chief Judicial Magistrate Syed Masfiqul Islam also formed two courts for holding hearings on bail petitions in cases filed for people in jail.
The courts are of Senior Judicial Magistrates Monirizzaman Shikder and Razib Hasan.
Earlier on Sunday, the chief justice issued directives and a user manual in line with the ordinance issued by President Md Abdul Hamid on Saturday, allowing regular court proceedings virtually, amid the Covid-19 lockdown in Bangladesh.