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Cabinet approves draft law allowing village courts to fine Tk 3 lakh

Dhaka, Feb 11: The Cabinet on Sunday gave final approval to the draft of ‘Village Court (amendment) Act, 2024’ enhancing the authority of village courts to fine Taka 3 lakh, raising the amount from existing Taka 75 thousand.

The approval came from the weekly cabinet meeting, chaired by prime minister Sheikh Hasina at the Prime Minister’s Office in Dhaka.

Cabinet secretary Md Mahbub Hossain briefed reporters at Bangladesh Secretariat in the afternoon.

Mahbub Hossain said the government gave the final approval to the draft act last year. There is an obligation to take approval from the new cabinet as it was not tabled in the last parliament, he said, adding now the current Cabinet gave the final approval.

He said the government is set to enhance the authority of village courts, enabling them to raise fines from Taka 75,000 to Taka 3 lakh.

 

 

He said a village court comprises five members, including the union parishad chairman. In some cases, the court cannot function if any member remains absent. In this situation, the absent member would get seven days to be present in the meeting. If the member cannot be present, then the chairman has the power to give one additional vote, he said.

The cabinet secretary said complication is being created if the person representing one party of a case dies. From now on, successor of the deceased can be the party in the case concerned, he said.

Mahbub Hossain said that the cabinet also gave final approval to ‘Local Government (city corporation) (amendment) Act 2024’.

From now on, he said, the government would do the work of drainage management instead of the city corporation. City corporation mayors and councilors will now enjoy one-month leave instead of three months, he added.

Under the amended law, Mahbub Hossain said, there is a provision of holding city corporation polls within 90 days or three months before the end of the tenure while earlier it was 180 days.

He said, as per the new act, that the tenure of a city corporation would be five years and the new mayors and councilors will take oath within 15 days after the election.

He said that the power of forming standing committee of the city corporation has been enhanced. Now 21 committees could be formed instead of the existing 14.

He said that there would be no post of secretary in the corporation and he (secretary) will be recognized as the chief executive officer.

Mahbub Hossain said that a proposal of exempting the Agriculture Ministry from the responsibility of forming a separate policy for processing agri products had been approved in the cabinet.

Replying to a query, the cabinet secretary said that prime minister Sheikh Hasina had given directives to all concerned to be more active in getting recognition certificates of GI products.

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