The trial proceedings of both the Appellate Division and the High Court of the Supreme Court will be conducted virtually from Wednesday due to spike in Covid cases in the country.
The Supreme Court administration on Tuesday issued two notifications in this regard being instructed by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique.
According to the notifications, all the judicial proceedings of the Appellate division and the High Court will be conducted virtually under the ‘Use of Information Technology by Courts Act, 2020’ and the Practice Direction issued in this regard from Wednesday.
Earlier in the morning, while conducting a judicial proceeding at the Appellate Division, Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique said, “Citing the worsening Covid-19 situation, it seems that we'll have to conduct trials through virtual courts again. Many cases were disposed of during the virtual court hearing.”
Thirteen judges of the High Court division and a number of judges and staff have been found infected with Covid-19, he added.
Besides, Biswajit Debnath, deputy attorney general, who was present at the court, said, “Our Attorney General and Additional Attorney General were found infected with Covid-19 and a number of lower court judges were also infected with the virus.”
The activities in all courts of the country remained suspended for several days due to the Covid-19 surge.
The Cabinet on May 7, 2020 cleared the draft of an ordinance to pave the way for courts to run trial proceedings through video conferences and other digital means using the information technology.
On May 9, an ordinance was promulgated allowing courts to run trial proceedings through video conferences and availing of other digital facilities. President Abdul Hamid promulgated the ordinance.
On May 10, the High Court formed three benches for hearing urgent cases virtually and directed the subordinate courts concerned to hear cases related to emergency bail.
All the judicial activities of benches under the High Court division of the Supreme Court resumed virtually from August 11, 2020.
However, the judicial activities of both the High Court and Supreme Court divisions conducted in physical presence maintaining health protocols from December 1, 2021.