The High Court has directed the government to investigate the disappearance of a large amount of birth and death registration information from the database stored on the server.
A HC bench of Justice Mojibur Rahman Mia and Justice Khizir Hayat passed the order after hearing of a writ petition filed in the public interest on Sunday.
The HC also issued a rule questioning why the government’s inaction to prevent the difficulties faced by the people in obtaining birth and death certificates and non-investigation of the disappearance of a large numer of information from the relevant servers should not be declared illegal.
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At the same time, the HC asked why the creation of a central database should not be directed as Rule-19 of Birth and Death Registration Act-2019.
The LGRD Secretary, the Registrar General of the Birth and Death Registration of LGRD, the Director General of the Planning-Monitoring, Evaluation and Inspection Office and the Joint Secretary of the Law Department of the ministry have been asked to submit the probe report responding to the rule in four weeks.
Lawyer Md Tanvir Ahmed appeared for the writ petition in the court while Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar represented the state.
Md Tanvir submitted legal notice in this regard on April 4 attaching a report published in a national daily on March 12 entitled 'Citizens in Extreme suffering with birth registration certificate' and on February 4, 'Birth Certificate: Birth registration information of millions of people in Bangladesh not listed on server'.
The report stated that the birth registration law was enacted in 2004 and came into force in 2006. Birth registration certificate is mandatory for various important activities including passport issue, marriage registration, admission in educational institutions, obtaining driving license, land registration.
In the beginning handwritten certificates were given. Then at the end of 2010 an initiative was taken to digitalise it.
At that time the government also provided a separate allocation for computer training to the registrars concerned. But not all the information was digitised at that time, especially of the city corporations and densely populated areas, the report said.
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According to another report, the Registrar General's Office in charge of registration of births and deaths in Bangladesh and officials of the Dhaka City Corporation say that millions of people who had previously obtained birth registration certificates now need to be re-registered online as their previous registrations have disappeared.
The birth registration of these individuals has not been updated online and it will no longer be possible to transfer old data to the new server. Authorities concerned are also struggling to cope with the large number of online birth registrations of a large number of school students.