A Supreme Court (SC) justice Saturday said common people are afraid of going to court due to absence of people-friendly environment.
He also commented that the rape victims are being raped four times when they go to seek legal help.
The justice suggested ensuring protection of witnesses by enacting 'Witness Protection Law' so that victim's can report the crimes and go through legal process, without which crimes will increase.
"People are afraid of going to the courts which is true. The environment of the court is not people-friendly. But we can change it," said Justice Iman Ali, justice of the Appellate Division of the SC.
He was speaking as the chief guest at an experience sharing seminar 2012 on 'Lack of Safety of the Witnesses and Adverse Environment of the Court Hamper Rule of Law-Violating Human Rights' at Brac Centre Inn in the city, organised by Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation (BHRF) with the support of Manusher Jonnya Foundation.
Moderated by Elina Khan, chairperson and executive director of the foundation, the seminar was attended by, among others Sadekul Islam, justice of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal and Rina Roy, director (Rights), Manusher Jonno Foundation.
Iman Ali said the way the lawyers brief the witnesses is not correct as the witnesses are supposed to tell the court the truth.
"It does not mean the lawyers cannot brief them about the environment of the courtroom, especially the argument of the defence lawyers," he said.
About the irrelevant questions asked by the lawyers to the witnesses aiming to harass, he said, it is the court which can prevent such questioning.
Iman Ali said the witness protection law is necessary considering the social context where most of the crimes, especially, sexual violence, are not reported and the witnesses do not appear in the court.
"If protection is not there, no case will be filed. If no case is filed there will be no punishment, which will lead to augmenting of the incidents of crime," he said.