• Thursday, Jul 02, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:46 pm

Legality of bus fare hike challenged in High Court

  • Published at 03:10 pm June 1st, 2020
Bus owners say implementing the prime minister’s directives will need public-private partnership Mehedi Hasan

Supreme Court lawyer Barrister M Humaun Kabir Pallob filed the writ on Monday on behalf of the Law and Life Foundation

A writ has been filed with the High Court challenging the legality of the government-issued gazette to increase bus fares by 60%.

Supreme Court lawyer Barrister M Humaun Kabir Pallob filed the writ on Monday on behalf of the Law and Life Foundation.

The lawyer told reporters that a virtual hearing may be held at the bench of justice JBM Hassan on Tuesday. 

The writ petition states that the government has increased bus fares at a time when citizens across the country are already struggling with hardships brought on by the coronavirus crisis. If lower and middle-income citizens, who mostly use public transport, are already struggling to pay existing fares, it is illogical to expect them to pay increased fares. It is an oppressive measure that is contradictory to citizens’ fundamental rights.

Among others, Secretary of the Ministry of the Road, Transport, and Bridges and Chairman of the BRTA has been held responsible by the writ.

Meanwhile, another Supreme Court lawyer Moniruzzaman Lincon has sent a legal notice to the government seeking stay of the gazette.

Earlier, the government increased fares for public buses by 60% with effect from June 1 in an effort to counteract the loss of passenger carrying capacity of vehicles to ensure adherence to social distancing protocols.

The announcement was made through a circular issued by the Road, Transport, and Bridges Ministry on Sunday afternoon.

The circular also said that the fare hike will be applicable only as long as the Covid-19 crisis persists. Previous fare rates will be reinstated as soon as the crisis ends.

Previously on Saturday, BRTA recommended raising bus fares by 80% in order to compensate bus owners for their buses only carrying 50% of their normal capacity.

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