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HC orders law enforcers to take measures to stop rape arbitration

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Health Desk- 22 Oct 2020: The High Court Wednesday directed law enforcers to take necessary steps to stop the use of salish (arbitration) in adjudicating rape incidents in the country.

The salish, or village panchayat, has acted for many years as a traditional judicial mechanism, operating mostly in rural parts of Bangladesh.

The court also ordered the authorities concerned of the government to submit a report to it in three months on how many rape cases were sent to the tribunals for trial in the last five years.

The report must include the steps the authorities are taking to ensure completion of trial proceedings within 180 days, in line with the court's earlier directives.

The HC also issued a rule asking the authorities to explain in four weeks why holding salish to settle rape incidents should not be declared a criminal offence.

The HC bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Mohi Uddin Shamim issued the directives and rule following a writ petition filed by Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), a leading rights organisation, on October 19 seeking necessary directives on this issue.

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