Draft of ‘Mobile Court (Amendment) Act, 2015’ approved

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The cabinet on 22 June has approved the final draft of Mobile Court (Amendment) Act 2015, keeping the provision of punishment on the basis of the witness and evidence. As per the existing act, mobile courts are not allowed to punish those who refuse to admit charges against them.

The approval came from the regular weekly meeting of the cabinet held on Monday at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

While briefing the media at the secretariat, Cabinet Secretary Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said: “According to the amendment, mobile court will be able to punish an accused on the basis of the witness and evidence even if s/he refuses to admit the charges.

“The magistrates will be able to take the help of technology and expert advise while giving judgement.”

Replying to a query, he said the role of the judicial and executive magistrates will not clash while conducting the mobile court.

The amendment incorporates three new elements.

Under one, mobile courts are empowered to punish offenders based on witness testimonies-even if the accused do not plead guilty.
Under the present law, the official said, a mobile court could only punish someone who pleads guilty.”It will now enable courts to take a call after considering the facts and witnesses,” the official told the newspersons.

The second addition is bringing information and communication technology issues under the purview of mobile courts. Use of electronic signature and biometrics is allowed in mobile-court operation against wrongdoers.

The law will also allow executive magistrates to take expert opinions for mobile-court proceedings.

The council of ministers also approved the draft Bangladesh Industrial Units Nationalisation Act 2015 and Jute Act 2015.

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