The High Court on Tuesday ordered the government to submit a report on 4 January next year on the steps taken to repeal section 155 (4) of the Evidence Act.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman passed the order during the hearing of public interest litigation filed in the court seeking cancellation of Sections 155(4) and 146(3) of the Evidence Act, 1872.
Attorney General AM Amin Uddin on Tuesday said that the government has decided to repeal section 155(4) of the Evidence Act, which facilitates raising questions on the character of the victim, and has already prepared a draft bill on the issue.
The Attorney General made the statement during the hearing.
The court adjourned the hearing of the writ till 4 January next year.
Earlier on November 14, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) and Nari Pakkho submitted the petition as public interest litigation seeking cancellation of Sections 155(4) and 146(3) of the Evidence Act, 1872.
Lawyers ZI Khan Panna, Sharmin Akther Sheuly and Shahinuzaman Shahin appeared for the petitioners, while Deputy Attorney General Bepul Bagmar represented the state during the hearing.
Section 155(4) of the act says, "When a man is prosecuted for rape or an attempt to ravish, it may be shown that the prosecutrix was of generally immoral character."
According to Section 146(3) of the act, "When a witness is cross-examined, he may, in addition to the questions hereinbefore referred to, be asked any questions which tend –to shake his credibility, by damaging his character, although the answer to such questions might tend directly or indirectly to incriminate him or might expose or tend directly or indirectly to expose him to a penalty or forfeiture."
Earlier on June 30 this year, Law Minister Anisul Huq told parliament that the provision to question the character of a rape victim in the court will be removed from the Evidence Act, and the government is working in this regard.