e Mobile Court brings back happiness to Kanaipur
Moslem Sheikh’s life used to be like a fairy tale.
In many ways, he was the epitome of a happy, hardworking farmer who could easily be a source of inspiration.
Beyond the common crops like jute and paddy, he grew seasonal crops as well as fruits and vegetables —prudently catering to the market demand.
At his rural home five kilometers away from Faridpur, he kept cows and goats, ducks and chickens — giving him extra money and assuring him a happy, comfortable life.
However, it was not long before Moslem Sheikh’s life was derailed by an unexpected turn.
The latest harvest season saw a sudden drop in the yields of paddy across the village. Seasonal vegetables like tomatoes suddenly witnessed pestilence. Potatoes were infected with ringworms. Mustards were unhealthy. So were his spinach and coriander. Eggplants were swarming with pests from inside.
Moslem Sheikh and his fellow villagers could not sort out the reason. They did everything they could to ensure the best yield. And yet, things only got worse.
The local agriculture office could not help either. Nothing was apparently wrong with the fertilizers or pesticides. They could not figure out what had gone wrong.
It was during such hard times, that Moslem Sheikh went to visit a relative in Kanaipur — not too far away from his home.
After a delicious lunch, he went in search of his favorite ‘betel leaf’ at a nearby tea stall. While having an idle time chewing his paan, he caught sight of a signboard of BSCIC Industrial Zone.
He had heard much about this place and started asking questions. “Let me have a look inside,” he thought.
Moslem was enjoying the solitary walk by himself inside the calm and serene BSCIC zone where there was a gentle breeze.
There he caught sight of another signboard — KBS Brand Limited. The name rang a bell. That was the same pesticide company that he used except that the bottles claimed that KBS was based in Dhaka.
Moslem became even more curious and went inside the KBS compound. There was nothing much apart from a huge warehouse. At one corner — a man, surrounded by a large number of bottles, was busy doing something strange.
Moslem approached the man and had idle chat for a while. Moslem noticed that the man was removing old labels and attaching new ones.
Moslem picked up one of the bottles casually and found that it mentioned a production date of 17 August 2014 and an expiry date of 14 August 2016. Then he looked at a bottle with the new labels. This stated a production date of 15 December 2016 and an expiry date of 14 December 2018.
Upon returning home, Moslem told his son Russell everything in detail and wondered what they could do.
“Why don’t we file an online complaint to a mobile court?” the son replied.
“Is that really possible?” asked Moslem.
His son assured him that it was quite possible and showed him how to do that on his mobile phone. He went on to the e-Mobile Court page (http://ecourt.gov.bd) and said, “We can post everything here in detail.”
“And will they really do something after that?” Moslem asked, still incredulous.
His son was more confident and suggested that they could at least give it a try.
Without further delay, Russell posted the necessary details on the website.
What happened next was beyond the imagination of Moslem Sheikh.
Before long, the post caught the attention of Faridpur district administration. Executive Magistrate Md. Parvez Mollick moved promptly and the mobile court team commenced their operation. Secret investigation proved the accuracy of the information. Then came the actual operation.
It was the morning of 12th January, 2017 when a mobile court team of Faridpur visited the site of KBS at the industrial zone in Kanaipur with a contingent of police and RAB 8.
They found manager Md. Abu Muyid Chowdhury putting fake seals of production and expiry date on the labels while at the warehouse, another employee was attaching those fake labels on the expired pesticide bottles.
Both were arrested immediately. The convicts admitted their crimes and asked for pardon. A total of 5,638 bottles of expired KBS pesticides were recovered and confiscated.
The whole procedure including the recording of confessional statements and passing of verdict was done instantly online through the e-Mobile Court database.
Once the verdict was declared, the recovered items were brought before the executive magistrate at the District Magistrate’s office, destroyed with bulldozer and buried beneath the ground.
The story of Moslem Sheikh is just one of the many examples of how the growing digitalization of all public services including mobile courts as part of the government’s Digital Bangladesh vision has made it possible to deliver prompt and efficient services to the common people across Bangladesh.
Between September 2016 and April 2017, a total of 69,238 cases have been settled through the e-mobile court platform — playing a strong, effective role in restraining child marriage and eve teasing, deterring drug adulteration, ensuring consumer rights, preserving human rights and conserving environment.
e-Mobile Court is now an integral part of a happy, prosperous Digital Bangladesh vision.
* Mehdi Musharraf Bhuiyan is working as a freelance writer in a2i program