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Friday, April 21, 2017

Stop false cases to keep in jail without trial

SUPREME Court Legal Aid Committee (SCLAC) Chairman Justice M Enayetur Rahim said on April 18 a specific law is required to rehabilitate people released after languishing in custody for long periods due to delay in trial proceedings, as per a report of a local daily.

Under the law of tort, compensation can be given to these people and the government perhaps has plans to pay compensation to them, he mentioned as per the report. Justice Enayetur said following reports in the news media, the HC has issued several orders granting bail to the people who were in jail with little progress in their trial proceedings.

Concerned Assistant Attorney General said the SCLAC placed the issues of 58 people who had been languishing in jail for more than 10 years before the HC. The HC has so far granted bail to 18 of them and issued directives for the rest.

Following media reports that many have long been in jails without being convicted, SCLAC on November 16 last year sent letters to the authorities of all 68 jails across the country, seeking names and particulars of such prisoners.

According to the report submitted by the Office of the Inspector General of Prisons on December 1 last year, there are 462 persons who have spent more than five years in jail with their cases still pending with different courts. Of the 462 prisoners, 58 have spent more than 10 years in jail with their cases still awaiting disposal.

The main reason is the easy way of not granting bail and the prosecution is under no compulsion to try and prove the case. Blaming backlog of cases for trial not taking place is wrong. The sufferings of the people in jail without trial are for the reason that the cases are not made ready for trial. The accused persons suffer imprisonment without bail, as the number of unprovable cases or false cases are piling up. Easy filing of criminal case for keeping anybody locked up in jail is demolishing the criminal justice system.

No new appointment of judges will be of any good if false cases are easy to file and keep people in jail without trial. Eliminate false cases to stop logjam of cases. 

Allow the accused person to face trial on bail then there will not be false cases being filed easily without the urgency of trial to begin.