POST TIME: 1 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 1 December, 2017 12:47:25 AM
subordinate courts
TIB recommends measures to bring transparency

TIB recommends measures
to bring transparency

The Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has placed 18-point recommendations to bring transparency in subordinate courts in order to ensure the independence of the judiciary. TIB research has found lack of transparency in subordinate courts, as the Supreme Court  (SC) and the law, justice and parliamentary affairs ministry are presently controlling and supervising these subordinate courts. These courts are faced with challenges relating to good governance due to some system inefficiencies in infrastructure, logistics, budget, manpower, training, effective accountability, illegal money transaction and transparency deficit. The TIB came up with the observations in a study titled 'Subordinate Court Measures: Good Governance Challenges and the way to overcome' at its Dhanmondi office yesterday.

The TIB's trustee board chairperson advocate Sultana Kamal, executive director Iftekharuzzaman, adviser-executive Prof. Sumaiya Khair, and research and policy division director Mohammad Rafiqul Hasan addressed the event.

TIB research and policy division programme manager Shammi Laila Islam and assistant programme Manager Nazmul Huda Mina presented the research report.

The qualitative study was conducted from January to October this year to provide effective and enforceable recommendations to ensure good governance. The study reviews the limitations of the institutional capacity, transparency, accountability and purification aspects of the subordinate court system in Bangladesh.A total of 18 districts were selected from the 64 districts of the country, considering the number of departmental representation and the number of cases.

The study has shown the lack of adequate manpower as a major factor. Some posts have remained temporarily vacant due to transfer, retirement, leave, and so on. In total, the posts of 114 judges have remained vacant in 621 courts, while 579 posts of officers and other employees have also remained vacant. Besides, the manpower shortage is affecting the legal aid office. The absence of legal aid officers has increased the degree of disruption of the service delivery process.

There are allegations that people have to pay bribe or extra money in different cases from the beginning to the end. It has been alleged that such transactions range from Tk. 20,000 to 1,000,000, depending on the nature of the case.

In some cases, judges allegedly face pressure from the higher authorities about performing certain judicial activities and others.  Dr Iftekharuzzaman said: "Despite many adversities, the subordinate judiciary system is playing a very important role in securing justice for the people."

The existing dual institutional control system has created certain risky areas at the subordinate judiciary, he noted. “These areas are affecting the overall working environment of the subordinate courts," he added.