Dhaka, April 25: Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq on Thursday said necessary actions will be taken to finish the sensational Nusrat murder trial in ‘record time’.“Along with our Prime Minister, most of the people of our country are angry over the incident and they are keen to see the case finished soon,” he said at a press briefing at his ministry marking National Legal Aid Day on April 28.
“The prosecution (of Nusrat murder case) has taken the ground preparations needed to finish a trial in the due process. As soon as the formal charges will be formed, we would take necessary actions to finish the trial in record time like the Rajon murder trial,” the minister said.
Replying a question on what kind of legal help the ministry can provide to BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia for her release on parole, Anisul said she does not have any qualification or she does not fall in any category to avail of the benefit.
“To get the government’s legal help, one has to be financially insolvent, penniless or unable to get justice because of various socio-economic reasons. Now, you tell me, in which category she falls to avail of the government’s legal help?” Anisul asked.
The minister narrated different activities being carried out by the present government to provide legal aid to people free of cost.
“A total of 3, 93,790 people have been given legal aid free of cost from 2009 to March, 2019. Of those, 66,402 were prisoners. In seventh five-year plan, where we had set a goal to provide legal help to 37,000 justice seekers annually by 2020. We provided legal help to 82,000 justice seekers only in 2017-18 fiscal. We have set a target of providing legal help to 90,000 justice seekers in 2018-19 fiscal,” he added.
This year, National Legal Aid Day would be observed with the theme “Sheikh Hasina’s contrition in Bangabandhu’s Sonar Bangla: Providing Legal Aid Free of Cost (Bangabandhu’s Sonar Banglay Sheikh Hasina’r Obodan: Binamulle Legal Aid’a Aini Sebadan)”.
The inaugural function of the day would be held at Hotel Intercontinental in the city at 10am. Legal Aid fair and cultural activities will be held at Dhanmondi Ravindra Sarobar.
BTRC has been requested to send SMS on legal aid to all the mobile subscribers in the country on that day as government info.
The Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formulated the National Legal Aid Services Act in 2000 to provide legal aid at government’s cost to people unable to pay legal expenses. The prime minister also established a statutory body named National Legal Aid Services Organization (NLASO) in the same year, ministry sources said.
After coming to power again in 2009, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina again took initiatives to expedite the implementation of National Legal Aid Services Act, 2000. Legal aid committees were formed in all 64 districts led by district and session judges. Apart from districts, legal aid committees are working at upazila and union levels. There is also a legal aid committee at the apex court.