It is a matter of concern that the investigations of crimes like rape and murder have been long delayed due to a High Court (HC) order. The Sagira Morshed murder case has been postponed for 27 years. The killers confessed under section 164, but the trial was brought to a halt when the state remained silent. This is inexcusable.
The investigation and trial of 126 criminal cases has been delayed for two to 21 years appeared. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), one of the oldest investigation agencies of the country, has alone identified the 126 cases. The number may be more, likely filed by other agencies.
The number is big and the liability for such a huge pile of pending criminal cases lies with the state. It's the state's responsibility to take initiative for the hearings of these cases. It's difficult, though not impossible, for the court to sort out the old cases and dispose them of on its own. The postponed 126 cases signify the weakness of the existing justice system which is struggling with 3.5 million pending cases.
We hope an initiative to hold the hearing of the deferred cases is prioritised. It would be a matter of regret if most of the deaths filed in those cases are murders. This is a systematic violation of human rights. Both the victims and the suspects deserve speedy trial. The spirit of speedy trial lies in immediate investigation and producing the report to the court following any crime. Procrastination ruins the basic spirit of the case. The evidence and proof get spoiled while the witnesses forget incidents. So it is fatal to delay in investigation for an indefinite period of time.
In some of the cases, a postponement order was imposed on the trial procedure after the charge sheet was filed. This is even more worrisome. Cases can be concocted. In that case, allowing their proceeding is against the order of the law, but stalling the proceedings without disposal over an interim order is unacceptable. It can be assumed that the procedures for most of the 126 cases came to a halt following interim orders.
The office of the attorney general must take steps to solve the issue. The first mass scale militant attack was carried out at the Udichi congregation at Jashore in 1999 that killed 10 and wounded over a hundred. This case has been postponed since 2015 on an interim order. It's surprising that the state did not take any initiative to hold the hearing of this case in four years.
Intervention of the chief justice as well as the administration can be effective to solve the issue. The authority to form a bench regarding the issue is vested in the Chief Justice too.