Village court assistants have urged the government to regularise their jobs under the project for Bangladesh Village Court Activation (2nd phase).
Under the banner of the Village Court Assistants' Association, they made the demand at a human chain in front of the National Press Club on Saturday. They staged the protest to press home their four-point demand.
Speakers at the programme said they are assisting the government by reducing the burden of piled-up cases in the courts across the country. However, the tenure of the second phase of the project is going to end this month.
That means 1,201 village court assistants will become jobless after the end of this month, if the tenure of the project is not extended, they added.
Leaders of the platform said if the post of village court assistant is abolished now it will slow down the pace of case disposal. For that, the government should keep them in their jobs with a minimum salary.
They also demanded the regularisation of their jobs under the Union Parishad and that they be given the opportunity to work in the union in which they are currently doing so.
Md Masud Rana, president of the platform, said, "There is ongoing discussion to assign computer operators of the union offices to discharge the duties of village court assistants. But it will be an extra burden on them. If village court assistants are kept beside them, the pace of work will continue."
When asked, he told The Business Standard, "We are trying formally and informally to place the issue to the higher authorities of the government. If our demands are not met, we may go to the High Court. However, it will be decided after a discussion with members."
Under the Bangladesh Village Court Activation Project, village courts have been running in 1,201 unions, in 154 upazilas of 30 districts, under eight divisions.
The Local Government Division, in cooperation with four private organisations, is implementing the second phase of the project.