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Jurisdiction the Supreme Court
The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh has been provided for in the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Article 94(1) of the Constitution provides that there shall be Supreme Court for Bangladesh comprising the Appellate Division and the High Court Division. These two Divisions of the Supreme Court have separate jurisdictions. The sources of this jurisdiction, apart from the Constitution, are general laws (Acts of Parliament) of the country.

Jurisdiction of the Appellate Division
The Constitution has conferred on the Appellate Division the following jurisdictions:

a. Appellate Jurisdiction: Article 103 of the Constitution provides that the Appellate Division shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from judgments, decrees, orders or sentences of the High Court Division. An appeal to the Appellate Division shall lie as of right where the High Court Division- (a) certifies that the case involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution; or (b) has sentenced or confirmed the sentence of a person to death or to imprisonment for life; or (c) has imposed punishment on a person for contempt of that division; and in other cases if the Appellate Division grants leave to appeal and also pursuant to Acts of Parliament.

b. Issue and execution of processes of Appellate Division: Under article 104, the Appellate Division shall have power to issue such directions, orders, decrees or writs as may be necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it, including orders for the purpose of securing the attendance of any person or the discovery or production of any document.

c. Power of Review: Article 105 provides that the Appellate Division shall have power, subject to the provisions of any Act of Parliament and of any rules made by the Division, to review any judgment pronounced or any order made by it. Part IV, Order XXVI of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh (Appellate Division) Rules, 1988 deals with the power and procedural matters of review of the Appellate Division.

d. Advisory Jurisdiction: Article 106 of the Constitution provides that if at any time it appears to the President that question of law has arisen, or is likely to arise, which is of such a nature and of such public importance that it is expedient to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court upon it, he may refer the question to the Appellate Division for consideration and the Division may, after such hearing as it thinks fit, report its opinion thereon to the President.

e. Rule making power of the Supreme Court: Subject to any law made by Parliament, the Supreme Court may with the approval of the President, make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of each Division of the Supreme Court and of any Court subordinate to it.


Jurisdiction of the High Court Division
Article 101 of the Constitution provides that the High Court Division shall have such original, appellate and other jurisdictions, powers and functions as are or may be conferred on it by the Constitution or any other law.

a. Original Jurisdiction: Original jurisdiction of the High Court Division means that jurisdiction whereby it can hear a case or suit as Court of first instance. The Constitution has conferred on the High Court Division special Original Jurisdiction under Article 102 of the Constitution, under which the High Court Division can enforce fundamental rights guaranteed in Part III of the Constitution and can also exercise its power of judicial review. There are some other ordinary laws (Acts of Parliament) namely, The Companies Act, 1994; The Admiralty Court Act, 2000; The Bank Companies Act, 1991; Will and Probate under Succession Act, 1925; The Divorce Act, 1869; The Representation of the People Order, 1972; Bangladesh Merchant Shipping Ordinance, 1983; The Contempt of Courts Act, 1926 etc.) which fall under the ordinary/original jurisdiction of the High Court Division. Further jurisdiction of the High Court Division is guided by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and The Supreme Court (High Court Division) Rules, 1973.

b. Appellate Jurisdiction: Any law may confer on the High Court Division appellate jurisdiction on any matter. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898; The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908; Section 42 of Value Added Tax Act, 1991; Section 196D of the Customs Act, 1969 etc and the High Court Division Rules, 1973 have conferred on the High Court Division appellate jurisdiction.

c. Revisional Jurisdiction: (a) Section 115 of The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 has conferred on the High Court Division the revisional jurisdiction. The High Court Division may examine the decisions of the courts subordinate to it.

(b) Section 439 of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 has conferred on the High Court Division the revisional jurisdiction as to criminal matters of the courts subordinate to it. Furthermore, the High Court Division has inherent power under section 561A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, to make such orders as may be necessary to give effect to any order under this Code or to prevent abuse of the process of any court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice.

d. Review Jurisdiction: Section 114 of The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 has conferred on the High Court Division the review jurisdiction. The High Court Division Rules, 1973 Part II, Chapter X and Order XLVII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 deal with the procedural matters of review.


e. Jurisdiction as to Superintendence and Control over Courts Subordinate to it: Article 109 of the Constitution provides that the High Court Division shall have superintendence and control over all Courts and Tribunals subordinate to it.

f. Transfer of cases from subordinate Courts to the High Court Division:
Under Article 110 of the Constitution if the High Court Division is satisfied that a case pending in a Court subordinate to it involves a substantial question of law as to the interpretation of the Constitution, or on a point of general public importance, the determination of which is necessary for the disposal of the case, it shall withdraw the case from that Court and may- (a) either dispose of the case itself; or (b) determine the question of law and return the case to the Court from which it has been so withdrawn (or transfer it to another subordinate Court) together with a copy of the judgment of the Division on such question, and the court to which the case is so returned or transferred shall, on receipt thereof, proceed to dispose of the case in conformity with such judgment.

Apart from the above, section 113 of The Code of Civil Procedure 1908 gives jurisdiction to the High Court Division to give opinion and order on a case referred to it by any subordinate Court by way of reference. Under section 160 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 1984 the High Court Division is empowered to hear income tax references. Section 24 of The Code of Civil Procedure provides for transfer of cases of the civil Courts and section 526 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for transfer of cases under criminal jurisdiction of the subordinate Courts.

Lawazima Court:

The Lawazima Court is presided over by the Registrar. This court deals with the procedural matters for making the cases ready for hearing.

 
 
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