Access to justice is the constitutional commitment of Bangladesh and this commitment is implemented in Bangladesh through one major important constitutional organ, which is judiciary in Bangladesh. For last one decade, this constitutional commitment is reflected through different activities of Bangladesh Govt. in order to overcome the challenges to ensure justice for mass people; one of these significant initiatives is to take e-judiciary project for Bangladesh Judiciary. In the last decade, the Govt. is trying to build up digital network in the judiciary so that more transparency can be ensured. Now, the judicial administration is under digital network.
All the people in Bangladesh, including all the judges and the other stockholders have the access to this digital network. Now, we have strong website of Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, (http: //www.lawjusticediv.gov.bd) through which all the judges of Bangladesh Judicial service can get the information of transfer, posting, proceeding, Govt. Order. Through one click they can see the update information. Through one click, all the mass people and the judges have the access to all the laws of Bangladesh.Besides this, Bangladesh Supreme Court has also another websitehttp (//www.supremecourt.gov.bd/web/) where all the people of Bangladesh can see the cause list, case number of the litigant people and the decision in their cases. Moreover in order to stop the harassment of the mass people, online bail confirmation system is implemented. Now there is no chance to present false documents in the trial court regarding the order of High Court Division or Appellate Division of Bangladesh Supreme Court. The trial courts in Bangladesh have the option to verify the order of Higher Court. So, through this system, more transparency and accountability can be ensured for all the litigant people.
Moreover, the Govt. of Bangladesh has adopted the policy to build up the digital network among all the courts in Bangladesh. As a part of it, the Govt. of Bangladesh has already supplied and distributed laptop to all the judicial officers in Bangladesh judicial service. Beyond this depiction, The Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs
Ministry has taken a Tk 2,210 crore project aiming to introduce e-judiciary in the country whose object includes the development of enterprise architecture for the judiciary, development of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, establishment of virtual private network (VPN) for all the
offices under judicial system, up gradation of data centre of law and justice division, up gradation of data centre of the Supreme Court and establishment of network operation centre, transformation of a total of 1,400 courtrooms across 64 districts into e-courtrooms and under the project, 63 micro data centres will be set up in 63 districts, interconnection between data centres of law and justice division and Supreme Court will be established.
So, we can expect that this proposed project could create a bridge between the mass people and the court. It can be expected that if this project for e-judiciary is implemented, no litigant people will have to wait for the upgrade information about his case. No person will have to stay unaware about the upcoming date of the case. No person will have to go to the courtroom or to the chamber of the lawyer for getting information about the result of the case.
It is true that we have limitations, both physical and psychological. We have the limitation of trained manpower. In the implementation of the e-judiciary project, we will have to face new challenges. But we can expect that a proper integrated coherent approach towards e-judiciary can lead us ahead for successful implementation of the project. Undoubtedly, the allotted money for this project is public money or mostly the money of our poor people. So, cautiously we will have to use this money so that maximum result can be gained through this project.
In the last decade, we have the experience of different pilot projects regarding e-judiciary. In implementation of this upcoming project, we can use our experience so that this project can be smoothly implemented. Undeniably, we are now living in the age of transformation. This generation has the experience of two centuries. We have the opportunity to see both analogue and digital Bangladesh. Both in urban and rural area, it is rear to find a person who don’t use face book or Internet. It is rear to find a baby in both urban and rural area who doesn’t see videos in YouTube during their taking food. So, it can be easily presumed that our social fabric will not be a challenge to implement this project. To my thinking, one of the major challenges to implement this project will be the interested group who wants to earn from people, leaving them in the darkness of court related information. They are neither the lawyers nor the clerks. So, this is not possible only for the govt. to implement this project successfully. All the stakeholders will have to be cordial to implement this initiative of Govt. so that our transformation to digital Bangladesh as well as digital judiciary becomes more easy and smooth through which access to justice for all the mass people can be ensured.
The writer is a Joint District Judge, Dhaka, Bangladesh