Wednesday, December 12, 2018 | ePaper

The victims of our delaying justice system

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IT is a very heart-touching story of an accused Obed Ali of Satkhira who had to pass long 12 years in a condemned cell just to prove himself innocent. He was ultimately proved not guilty by the court over the charge of murdering two policemen. But his son Washiqur Rahman Shawon did not get the copy from the court about his father's acquittal in due time. He came to Dhaka and stayed over one month. He even contacted with Human Rights Commission in this regard.  However, Shawon finally got the court copy of his father's acquittal on October 4. But alas! It was no more helpful. Obed Ali breathed his last just the day before his release from the jail.
The story of Obed Ali has exposed the weakness and unnecessary lingering attitude of our justice system.  Newspaper reports said cancer patient Obed Ali used to request the doctors to extend his lifetime as he could pass some extra time with family members. We see that just because justice was delayed he could not return to his family. We have no such word to express our deepest sympathy to the bereaved family members of the victim who was an innocent. Who will take liability of his death?  Who will be responsible for keeping him in prison for 12 years?      
Though unbelievable, over 33 lakh cases were pending with the higher courts and lower courts across the country, according to a statistics placed by Law Minister Anisul Huq in parliament in January last. Of the cases, over 28 lakh cases were pending with the lower courts, while 4,76,000 cases were pending with the High Court Division and 16,565 cases with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. The Law Minister nine months ago said some 8,93,000 cases - 601,000 with lower courts and 292,000 with the higher courts - were pending for at least five years. So it can be easily understood that the number of pending cases has increased in the next nine months.
What is significant is that the government feels free and relaxed about the alarmingly increasing number of pending cases with different courts.  We know justice delayed means justice denied.

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