The High Court on Wednesday questioned the legality of holding the position of Managing Director and CEO of the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) by Engineer Taqsem A Khan and paying him Tk 0.625 million as his gross salary.
The court also sought a report on the total gross salary, performance bonus, TADA, and all other benefits in terms of cash and kinds paid to the WASA MD in the last 13 years within 60 days.
The High Court bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo passed the order on Wednesday after hearing a writ petition filed in this regard.
Secretary to the local government division, chairman and managing director of Dhaka WASA were asked to comply with the rule within four weeks.
The court issued a rule upon the concerned bodies of the government to explain in four weeks as to why the inaction of the respondents in not taking any step to remove the Managing Director and CEO of the Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority and cancel the previous decisions increasing his salary in violation of the Service Order (Salary and Benefits), 2015 and the notification issued in this regard by the Finance Ministry should not be declared illegal.
It also wanted to know in the rule as to why the respondents should not be directed to take appropriate steps to remove the Dhaka WASA MD and recover the excess salary paid to him illegally in the last 13 years and as to why the respondents should not be directed to fix the salary and other service benefits of the Dhaka WASA MD in line with the provisions of the Service Order (Salary and Benefits), 2015 and the notification issued in this regard by the Finance Ministry.
Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB) represented by its Chairman Architect Mubasshar Hussain filed the writ petition on July 31 this year.
Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua appeared in the court hearing on behalf of the writ petitioner, while Deputy Attorney General Arabindo Kumar Roy represented the state.
Barrister Jyotirmoy said, “As a statutory authority Dhaka WASA cannot treat its officers and employees different from other public servants. But in the instant case, the Dhaka WASA MD had been given undue benefits unlawfully.
The finance ministry on January 26 in 2016 published a notification regarding the fixation of salary and other benefits for contractual employees in line with the National Pay Scale, 2015. However, while fixing the salary and other benefits for the Dhaka WASA MD the authorities have violated the notification of the ministry.”
Taqsem A Khan was made Dhaka WASA MD in 2009. Since then he has been carrying out the duties. Despite severe criticism of his role in ensuring qualities of WASA services, he was reappointed for sixth term on 1 October in 2020. Allegations of corruption arose every time against him.