Cabinet okays law to hold trials digitally

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Dhaka, May 07: The cabinet on Thursday approved an ordinance allowing the courts to hold trails digitally using the information technology in view of the coronavirus pandemic.It also gave final approval to “The Value Added Tax and Supplementary Duty (Amendment) Act, 2020” and “The Income-tax Amendment Ordinance, 2020” in its weekly meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair held at her official Ganabhaban residence in Dhaka this morning, reports BSS.

“It is necessary to formulate a legal framework to keep continuing the trial process in the courts digitally or through video conference using information technology as the stockpiles of pending cases are on the rise due to the nationwide shutdown over the COVID-19 pandemic” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told a news briefing at his Bangladesh Secretariat office here this afternoon.

So, the cabinet has finally approved the Information Technology Usage Ordinance by the Court, 2020, he said, adding that once the ordinance comes into force, trials could be held digitally without having physical presence of lawyers and their clients in the courts.

The ordinance was brought to the cabinet for its approval as the public and private organizations, without some exception, have been declared shut for the last one month due to the situation arising out the COVID-19 pandemic, he opined.

He said that due to the shutdown, the litigants have also long been deprived of getting the justice alongside the increase in the number of pending cases.