PM okays establishment of cyber tribunalMustafizur Rahman
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, has approved the establishment of a special tribunal in Dhaka to deal with cyber crimes such as online fraudulence, extortion and the hacking of computer systems.
‘The law ministry will now institute a cyber tribunal in Dhaka with its jurisdiction being the whole country through a gazette notification in a couple of days under the Information and Communications Technology Act 2006,’ a senior official concerned told New Age on Thursday.
The government in December 2012 initiated a move to set up cyber tribunal to try cyber crimes in a speedy manner as the number of such cries was increasing with the advancement in information technology, the official added.
The government could transfer any such cases filed earlier with other courts to the cyber tribunal.
The initiative came weeks after the UK-based magazine Economist claimed that it was in possession of 17-hour record of Skype conversation and 230 e-mails between former International Crimes Tribunal 1 chairman and a Bangladeshi expatriate in Brussels.
Justice Md Nizamul Haque stepped down on December 11 as the Tribunal 1 chair after the media published reports on on his Skype conversations with Brussels-based Ahmed Ziauddin at home and abroad.
A local daily newspaper
had published serialised reports on the conversation until the court ordered a ban on the publication of personal talks over Skype reportedly recorded by some quarters by way of hacking.
The law ministry in December month sent a summary proposal to the Prime Minister’s Office seeking approval for the tribunal which would be led by a district and sessions judge.
‘Incidents of cyber crimes are increasing globally day by day and it is very urgent under the circumstances to ensure ICT security,’ the proposal, signed by the prime minister on December 31, 2012, said.
The prime minister has endorsed the creation of six positions in different categories that include a judge of the rank of district and sessions judge for the cyber tribunal and its support staff.
One such tribunal would be set up in Dhaka initially, covering the whole of Bangladesh although the law stipulates that one or more cyber tribunals could be set up for an effective and speedy trial of crimes committed online, the official added.
Section 68 of the ICT law has provisions for a special tribunal named cyber tribunal that may take cognisance of crimes committed online.
The maximum punishment, according to the ICT law, is 10 years of imprisonment with a fine of Tk 1 crore.
The law ministry will appoint a judge at the cyber tribunal in consultation with the Supreme Court.
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