Govt fails to comply with HC rulesM Moneruzzaman
The government and the courts regularly fail to comply with the Rules of the High Court which require that show cause notices issued on the government are dealt with on the date that the court states in its orders.
As a result, cases which should be dealt with by the courts six weeks or two months after the rule is issued are sometimes not heard for over a year.
Section 10 of appendix 4 of the Rules of the High Court states, ‘Where the court has been pleased to issue a Rule on the opposite party to show cause why the direction, order or writ applied for should not be granted, the Rule shall on the date fixed for its return, be placed for hearing before a divisional bench appointed by the chief justice for the purpose.’
Attorney general Mahbubey Alam, whose office is responsible for replying to the notices as all the writs are filed against the government, told New Age that he could not respond within the stipulated time because of the ‘burden of cases’.
‘In cases which are really urgent, we do however respond to them within the stipulated time,’ he added.
Supreme Court lawyer TH Khan, who had been a judge of the High Court in East Pakistan times, told New Age, ‘The Rules are directory rather than mandatory.’
Supreme Court lawyer Shahdeen Malik said that there was a time when rules came up on the list for hearing on the date fixed in the original court order, but that now this seemed impossible
due to the backlog of pending cases.
‘Due to increased number of cases being filed, judges take time to release the full text of their orders,’ added Shahdeen, who also blamed the court officials for the delay in serving the notice on the government.
There is no mechanism to expedite disposal of the pending cases as well as to stop the lodging of unnecessary cases, he added.
Retired assistant registrar Shafayet Ullah said, ‘In the past in 1970s, when courts were issuing only nine or ten rules in a month, we used to place the case papers before the courts concerned on the date set out in the order.’
However, now courts are often issuing between 20 and 50 notices a day.
‘There was also a practice amongst the officials to inform the court about whether or not notices had been served on the opposite parties,’ he added.
Supreme Court registrar AKM Shamsul Islam told New Age that these days his office could not place the cases before the court on the right day as often there was a long delay before the notice was served on the parties.
He said it was often due to the delay in the court sending the order to the section concerned with serving the notices on the government.
Supreme Court Bar Association’s outgoing president Khandker Mahbub Hossain suggested that the Supreme Court should set up a secretariat to expedite the court process.
comments powered by Disqus