The High Court on Monday directed concerned authorities to take steps for displaying the fare chart of public transports at all the bus and mini bus stands and make it visible public places and displaying the chart on electronic billboards in every stoppages according to the provisions of the Road Transport Act.
The court also directed the authorities to take effective measures to stop the collection and claim of the extra fare in any form from the passengers of the public transports including buses and minibuses.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has been asked to comply with the order within one month.
The HC bench of Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman passed the order with a rule after hearing a writ petition filed by Md Abu Taleb, a Supreme Court lawyer, in this regard.
In the rule the HC wanted to know from the respondents to explain as to why the failure of the respondents to promulgate rules under section 122 of the Road Transport Act, 2018 for the purpose to serve the intention of the legislature in respect of fixing a standard fares of the public transport should not be declared illegal.
It also wanted to know in the rule as to why the failure of the respondents to control the fare collection of the public transports by owners, drivers, conductors, persons or organisations of any public transport without displaying the fare chart in an easily visible place should not be declared illegal and as to why the inaction to stop the collection and claiming of additional fare from the passengers should not be declared illegal.
Road Transport and Bridges secretary, BRTA chairman and other respondents have been asked to comply with the rule within four weeks.
The lawyer filed the writ petition with the High Court on January 4 seeking a set of directions including a ban on increasing the fares of all type of public transports including buses and minibuses in future without formulating rules of the Road Transport Act, 2018.
Mr Abu Taleb appeared in the hearing in support of his petition while, deputy attorney general Bepul Bagmar represented the state.
Lawyer Abu Taleb said, “I sent a legal notice to the respondents on December 1 last year. In that notice, I demanded to take measures for stopping harassment of the common passengers in the name of illegal, unreasonable and unusual fare increase in public transport. But I didn’t get any response. That is why I filed the petition as a public interest litigation.”
The lawyer also said, “The government has increased the bus fares without formulating any rules of the law. The owners, drivers and conductors of the public transports are taking the advantage of that gap. However, the common passengers are being harassed. Despite having the fixed rate of fare collection, additional fare is being collected from the passengers.”
“Even the passengers are being tortured by the public transport workers. We need to get rid of this anarchy and oppression situation,” added the lawyer.