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Chief Justice Siddique sets sight on combating court case backlog crisis

Speaking at a reception organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Attorney General’s Office on Sunday, he also welcomed constructive criticism to resolve the issue.

“The huge number of cases pending on the shoulders of only 1,900 judges in this country of about 180 million people is by no means a good thing for the judiciary,” said the 23rd chief justice of Bangladesh.

Law Minister Anisul Huq had said a few days ago that 3.9 million cases are pending in the courts of the country.

Justice Siddique urged judges to aim to diligently dispose of more cases than usual and work in the interest of the people seeking justice to achieve the target.

“For the judiciary, this is a declaration of war against the logjam of cases,” the chief justice said, while laying out his plan to “win the war”.

He said eight monitoring cells, each headed by a High Court judge, will be formed to ease the backlog of cases. The chief justice will supervise the work to dispose of the cases, prioritising the old ones.

Justice Siddique promised to accept constructive criticism levelled at the judiciary. “If the right of the ordinary people to justice is violated by any bad actors or groups, it will never be accepted.”

The top judge emphasised coordination between the three organs of the state – the legislature, the judiciary, and the executive — in order to overcome the problems besetting the justice system.

“A state cannot be strong when one of its three organs is weak or troubled. So, I believe that the two other organs should play a visible and effective role in resolving the problems of the judiciary from their respective positions.”

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“All sections and individuals of the state must be reminded again and again that the failure to ensure justice will lead to the defeat of democratic civilisation,” the top judge remarked.

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