People accused of criminal cases can surrender before the courts of Chief Judicial Magistrates (CJM) and Chief Metropolitan Magistrates (CMM) across the country while seeking bail in the cases against them.
Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain has asked the CJMs and CMMs to allow those accused of criminal charges to surrender before their courts in connection with the cases against them.
The Supreme Court administration today issued a notification to this effect, saying that the accused in criminal cases can surrender to the courts of CJMs and CMMs along with relevant petitions, following health guidelines and strictly maintaining physical distancing.
The magistrates concerned will fix necessary action plans for maintaining physical distancing in the courtrooms during the proceedings in order to contain the coronavirus pandemic, according to the notification signed by SC Registrar General Md Ali Akbar.
It said a maximum of six people -- including lawyers and accused -- can stay in a courtroom during hearing of a case while wearing face masks.
Earlier, the lower courts could hear and dispose of only bail petitions filed by the detained accused.
Contacted for details about yesterday's SC notification, SC lawyer and editor of Dhaka Law Reports, Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan, told The Daily Star that the chief justice has asked the CJMs and CMMs to allow those accused of criminal charges to surrender before their courts in connection with the cases against them, as the High Court is not accepting anticipatory bail petitions during virtual proceedings.
Those accused in criminal cases are reportedly now on the run as they cannot appear before the High Court.