This is a landmark verdict because, despite the frequency of road accidents here in Bangladesh, existing laws in our country have not covered such situations before
The High Court should be applauded for making the right decision and ordering those who were responsible for the death of internationally acclaimed Bangladeshi filmmaker Tareque Masud and four other passengers — including former ATN News CEO Mishuk Munier — in a road accident on the Dhaka-Aricha highway, to compensate for their gross callousness.
This is a landmark verdict because, despite the frequency of road accidents here in Bangladesh, existing laws in our country have not covered such situations before.
According to the verdict, the owners of the vehicle will have to pay the majority of the Tk4.21cr as compensation to the family members of Tareque Masud.
Nothing has else worked up until this point, and, unfortunately, this is the only language that such unscrupulous bus owners will understand.
Road fatalities are a tragic yet common occurrence in Bangladesh, claiming over 60 lives, on average, every year. But legal cases like this are not.
In fact, it is almost unprecedented for us as a nation, since tort law, which guides legal action in such situations, has very limited application in Bangladesh. Which makes the High Court’s recent verdict a cause for celebration.
It’s really not about the money, but instead the message of accountability and responsibility that this verdict will hopefully transmit throughout our legal system and indeed society at large.
The brave expedition the Masud family has lead into uncharted legal territories is, therefore, a huge public service. At any rate, it is an important first step that will surely help bring tort law into our legal system.
While we can never replace Tareque Masud and his incalculable talent, we hope this verdict will pave the way to a safer Bangladesh for all citizens.