Despite disposals of 1238 cases last year, nearly 4317 cases remain unsettled with two courts of the Power Development Board (PDB), Chittagong for want of production of the plaintiff and witnesses.
Considering the number of the consumers, two PDB Courts, North and South, were set up but the PDB North Court is running without magistrate since September 2015. As a result, Mohammad Mohiuddin, Senior Judicial Magistrate of the PDB South Court, is discharging duties in the two courts simultaneously.
Five districts -- three hill districts plus Chittagong and Cox's Bazar districts -- are under the Chittagong PDB Courts but the PDB is now in shamble to conduct mobile courts outside Chittagong district for shortage of magistrate.
PDB Court sources said minimum 15 to 20 per cent of the witnesses or plaintiffs of the cases remain unreachable as the PDB Assistant Engineers are generally plaintiffs of those cases.
When these engineers are transferred to new workplaces, it becomes challenging to produce them before the courts on the date of hearing.
As the cases remain pending for years, most often it is not possible to know the new workplaces or new posts of the plaintiffs or witnesses. As a result the cases are dismissed and the accused are acquitted of the charges for want of witnesses.
Senior Judicial Magistrate of the PDB South Court Mohammad Mohiuddin said they are to face hurdles in running the cases as they cannot trace out the plaintiffs of the cases. "As a result, the cases take more time and sometimes we have to postpone the cases, which deprives the government of huge revenues", he added.
However, Senior Assistant Director of PDB, Chittagong Mohammad Moniruzzaman claimed that the plaintiffs or witnesses, wherever they are transferred, remain present before the court on the day of the hearings; otherwise their representatives remain present before the courts, according to BSS. - Idrak