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Administration of Justice

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05th-Nov-2016       
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(From previous issue) :
10. In the first circular it was mentioned that to reserve the vacant posts for absorbing the surplus employees due to administrative rearrangement and future probable administrative re-arrangements usually sanction from Ministry of Establishment is required to fill-up the posts under government revenue through direct appointment of every Ministry, Department, section and all sections under those offices and all autonomous, semi-autonomous organizations. But no such sanction is necessary for the following posts:
(a) All posts under cadre service
(b) All post of defence except civil employees
(c) All post of nationalized Enterprise under Autonomous institutions
(d) All posts of BDR, Ansar And police Force except Assistant outside from the force and clerk.
(e) All Government running Financial Institutions, for example: Bank, Insurance, Investment Corporation and House Building Finance Corporation etc. hetter also does not apply to the lower judiciary, inasmuch as, the lower judiciary is not under the control and superintendent of the Ministry of Law and Justice Department. In the latter circular, it was mentioned that there was provision for prior permission of the Ministry of Establishment for appointing employees against vacant posts. It, however, observed that the Ministries' prior approval would not be necessary in case of filling up the vacancies in respect of the post of cadre service. All posts of Ministries of Defence other than civil employees of BDR, Ansar and Police Department other than clerical posts and some other organizations.
12. A close reading of the latter circular clearly shows that it was written with a view to minimizing the manpower of the government employees working in different Ministries and departments, cost reduction and also with a view to keeping 20% vacant posts reserved for future administration re-organizations. So apparently this circular is also not applicable, inasmuch as, apart from the fact as mentioned above, there is no scope for re-organization of the lower judiciary in future. The functions of the lower judiciary are altogether different from civil administrative service. Naturally, this circular has no manner of application for filling up the vacancies in the lower judiciary against sanctioned posts.
13. Apart from the above, for proper administrative and control of the lower judiciary, the Judges of the High Court Division and Chief Justice usually inspect the lower courts every year. In course of their inspections it is found that in all district courts the smooth functioning and transacting its business are being hampered due to shortage of staff against sanctioned posts due to retirement and appointment process could not be initiated due to these circulars. With the increase of the population day by day, the pace of filing litigations is also increasing threefold. It is reported by the Judges that whenever they write letters for clearance for appointment of staff against sanctioned posts, the reply of the Ministry comes at a belated stage sometimes it takes one year or more. Naturally this hampers the administration of justice, inasmuch as, unless the supporting staffs help the Judges, it will be difficult for them to administer justice.
14. There are shortage of Judges in every courts and even under the present strength, the sub-ordinate staffs cannot manage the sections due to shortage with the result that even after working extra times, they cannot coup with the situation. The net result is that the docket is increasing everyday. The litigants' suffering are mounting in obtaining copies and taking steps in pending litigations. Cases cannot be made ready due to non-service of summons. There is urgent need to increase at least twice the present number of manpower working in the lower judiciary. The Bench Assistants who are called 'Paskers' are so overworked that they unofficially engage 'Umeders', to write order-sheets by making payments from their own pocket. As soon as this fact has been published in the media, the Chief Justice issued circular directing the District and Sessions Judges not to allow any outsider to work with the Bench Assistants. Now that 'Umeders' are not working and as a result, the Bench Assistants are working in the courts of the District and Sessions Judges, the Chief Judicial Magistrates, Chief Metropolitan Magistrates, more than 12 hours a day. These supporting staff are not getting any overtime and it is not humanly possible for them to manage more than hundred cases a day and to write orders in the order sheet.
15. So the number of Bench Assistants particularly working in busy districts like Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet, Bogra, Comilla, Mymensingh, Jessore, Barisal, Noakhali, Rajshahi, Dinajpur should be increased to two so that the administration of justice can function smoothly. Accordingly, it is imperative to take immediate steps by the Ministries of Public Administration, and Law and Justice to increase at least one more Bench Assistant to the District . and Sessions Judges, Chief Metropolitan Magistrates, Metropolitan Sessions Judges, Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Tribunals, Chief Judicial Magistrates in all old District Courts. It is hoped that the. said Ministries shall take immediate step in this regard.
16. The Ministry of Public Administration's circulars under memo dated 15th March, 1992, 11th May 1991 and 17th January, 2000 are not applicable to the District Courts. Henceforth, the District Courts will be at liberty to take immediate step to fill up the vacant sanctioned posts for smooth functioning of the courts without taking prior approval or clearance from Ministry of Law and Justice as well as the Ministry of Public Administration. The said circulars are not applicable to the lower judiciary. The Ministry of Public Administration is directed to withdraw the aforesaid circulars immediately and intimate this court Let a copy of the judgment be communicated to the Ministries of Public Administration, and Law and Justice.
This petition is disposed of with the above directions and observations.
(Concluded)

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