Chief Justice (CJ) Syed Mahmud Hossain said life and livelihood are both important. However, life comes first in this difficult time of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The chief justice said this on Sunday at a six member virtual appellate bench, in reply to Supreme Court Bar Association secretary Barrister Ruhul Quddus Kajal, who proposed running more virtual High Court (HC) benches.
Addressing the CJ, Barrister Ruhul Quddus Kajal said in court, "My Lord, there are currently four virtual HC benches. Ramadan is going on, Eid is ahead. Lawyers would have benefited if some more virtual HC benches had been added in this situation. And over the past year, lawyers have become accustomed to running virtual courts. So lawyers would have benefited if 10 more virtual HC benches had been introduced if necessary. "
At one point, addressing Barrister Ruhul Quddus Kajal, the CJ said, "Listen, we also came from the bar (Supreme Court Bar Association). We also understand the problems of lawyers. Both life and livelihood are important. But in this pandemic situation, life comes first and then livelihood."
CJ Syed Mahmud Hossain continued, "Considering the risk of Covid-19 infection, the Appellate Division is now running with only 40 staff. It needs a lot of staff to run four virtual benches of the HC. In this situation 1000 staff will be needed to run 10 HC benches. Then, they will be at risk of Covid-19 infection. We have taken such a decision considering all the issues."
Finally, recalling the message from the World Health Organization, the Chief Justice told all those involved in the court "Stay home, stay safe."