Nagar Adalat, meaning urban court, can play a leading role in settling the backlog of cases in courts across the country, experts said.
Every judge has almost 2,000 cases or more pending in his court, with more than a total of 40 lakh pending cases, they said at a virtual discussion on Monday.
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), presided over the discussion titled "Nagar Adalat Act: proposed outline and possibility of implementation."
He said it had become the need of the hour to establish 'Nagar Adalats' in city corporations to help settle minor disputes across the country just like municipal and village courts did.
"The municipal and village courts allow people at the union parishad and municipal levels to settle their disputes locally without going to a court, saving them from harassment and expenses," he said, "but, there is no such law for nearly two crore people living in 12 city corporations across the country. So, these people have to go to the courts to settle minor disputes."
There must be a social movement demanding a 'Nagar Adalat Act' for people living in the city corporations, said Bhattacharya.
He urged the government officials concerned to take necessary steps in this regard.
The virtual discussion was jointly organised by Citizen's Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh; Madaripur Legal Aid Association, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, and Nagorik Uddyog.
MLAA Chief Coordinator Khan Md Shahid presented the outline of a proposed "Nagar Adalat" Act at the event. The draft, created on the basis of the Village Court Act, has been submitted to the government departments concerned and the Law Commission.
Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam was the chief guest at the programme.
Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Md Atiqul Islam, Dr Fastina Pereira, Senior Fellow, Center for Pitch and Justice, BRAC University; barrister Sara Hossain, and many others took part in the discussion.
Agreeing to the proposed city court on principle, Tajul Islam said transparency and accountability should be ensured in the proposed city court. "This initiative will be successful if we can strengthen the institutions representing the people."