HC expedites disposing of graft, money laundering cases

Bahauddin Imran
Published : 00:00, Feb 18, 2019 | Updated : 00:00, Feb 18, 2019

Supreme Court of Bangladesh. BANGLATRIBUNE/Sazzad HossainMd Tozammel Hossain, a supervising engineer with Health Engineering Department, is facing allegations of landing on a government job by concealing his real age.
He moved the High Court (HC) in 2005 seeking an order to scrap the case, which was filed by the graft watchdog – Anti Corruption Commission (ACC). Hossain finally got the court to hear the matter on Jan 21, 2019 after 15 long years.
A specific bench has been disposing of thousands of such pending matters following a directive by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain in mid-2018.
On Jun 24 last year, the top judge formed a separate bench, comprising of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice KM Hafizul Alam, for speedy disposal of graft and money laundering cases.
The bench was assigned the task of hear all pending rules, appeals, revision motions and criminal cases related to money laundering and graft lawsuits filed under the Anti Corruption Commission Act.
Since the directive was issued, the bench has already disposed of over 600 matters in six months, excluding the annual vacation of the Supreme Court.
Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik, who has been appointed to represent the state in the matters, told Bangla Tribune, “This High Court bench has been working to cut down the cases which were pending for decades.”
He also added that the bench often hears other special cases, forwarded by the chief justice.
The Supreme Court administration is satisfied with the number of cases disposed of so far.
“The bench was formed with the aim of speedy disposal of graft cases and we are getting satisfactory results on a regular basis,” Supreme Court Special Officer Barrister Md Saifur Rahman told Bangla Tribune.
Sazzad Hossain, a member of the ACC prosecution team, told Bangla Tribune, “The bench is playing an effective role in disposing of the graft lawsuits.”
Referring to the high volume of backlog cases, he, however, said, “Given the number of cases, it’s strenuous for a single bench to hear the matters.”
“Although the judges are doing their best, I think more benches will ensure even faster disposal of the matters,” according to him.
The top court’s Special Officer Rahman said that they haven’t received any official application seeking formation of more benches, before adding they will consider it if approached.