The High Court (HC) has directed the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) to take effective measures immediately to stop overcharging of passengers on public transport violating the Road Transport Act.
The court has also ordered the BRTA to display lists of fares for all public transport on electronic boards at bus stoppages within a month on all the roads across the country, including Dhaka city.
A bench of Justice Mamunur Rahman and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman passed the order on Monday, after hearing a writ petition.
The HC also issued a rule asking the concerned authorities in the government to explain why its failure to stop bus owners and their helpers from collecting extra fares from passengers should not be declared illegal.
The secretary and assistant secretaries to the road transport and bridges ministry, the BRTA chairman, and its director (engineering) have been asked to reply to the rule within four weeks.
Advocate Md Abu Taleb appeared in the court for the petition while Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar moved for the state.
The lawyer said "The government increases the fare of public transports without making a policy in light of the relevant law and public transport owners, drivers and transport staff are taking advantage of this. On the other hand, passengers are facing harassment. Despite having a fixed rate of transport fare, transport staff are collecting extra fares from passengers. We want to get relief from these harassments."
Lawyer, Md Abu Taleb on 4 January filed the petition to the HC, seeking its directives, including slapping a prohibition on raising fares in all public transports in future until making a policy of Road Transport Act (RTA)-2018.
As per section 34 (3) of RTA, no public transport can carry passengers without displaying a list of fares on the electronic board at stoppages. According to section 34 (4) of RTA, public transport owners, drivers and transport staff cannot collect additional fares from passengers, except the ones fixed.
As per section-122 of the act, to achieve its objectives, the government has to make a policy through issuing a gazette notification, the lawyer added.