The court has also sought information on drivers without licences
The High Court on Wednesday asked the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) to submit a report on unfit vehicles plying the streets across the country, as well as information about drivers without valid licences.
The bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice KM Hafizul Alam issued a suo moto (voluntary) ruling due to a news report published in a national English daily on Saturday, with the headline “No fitness docs, yet running.”
The BRTA chairman, the director of the road safety wing,the inspector general of police, and deputy commissioners of both Dhaka city corporations have been made respondents to the ruling.
The court gave the BRTA till April 30 to submit the report.
The bench also summoned Mahbubey Rabbani, director (road safety) at the BRTA, to report his findings regarding unfit vehicles to the court on April 30.
The ruling comes a week after Abrar Ahmed Chowdhury, a first-year student of Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), was killed when a Suprovat Paribahan bus ran him over near the Bashundhara residential area in Kuril, Dhaka, on March 19.
The High Court issued another ruling on Wednesday asking the government authorities concerned to explain why their failure to stop unfit vehicles from running on the streets should not be declared illegal.
Advocate AM Amin Uddin Manik, present at the court on Wednesday, was asked to place suggestions.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Manik said: “This is a matter of life [and death], so I told the court to ask for a detailed report first, and then take further initiative. The court agreed with me.”
Advocate Syed Mamun Mahbub, who brought the matter to the High Court Bench’s attention, said the High Court also asked why the BRTA's failure to ensure road safety should not be declared illegal, as a number of laws have made them integral to implementing road safety measures.
According to the BRTA, of about 3.89 million vehicles registered with the transport regulator, 500,000 are not fit to run on the roads. More than one million drivers also do not have valid licences.
A good number of experts, analysts, and studies have said these unfit vehicles and unlicensed drivers are the main reasons behind road accidents, while unruly pedestrians are also partially to blame.