The High Court (HC) on Sunday issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain why the decision of raising fee for entering the launch terminals should not be not declared illegal.
It also seeks explanation as to why the fee hike should not be declared illegal and contrary to the constitution as per the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Ordinance,1958.
The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahsan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader came up with the rule and asked the respondents to respond to the rule within three weeks.
On October 28, Supreme Court lawyer Mohammad Abu Taleb filed a petition with the High Court challenging the legality of the decision of raising fees for entering river port terminals across the country.
Shipping and finance secretaries, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) chairman, its secretary, director (Finance), deputy director (port) and Dhaka River Port (Sadarghat) joint director were made respondents to the writ.
The petitioner said an official notification was issued on September 15 raising fee to Tk 10 from Tk 5 for entering Barishal, Chandpur, Khulna, Narayanganj, Narsingdi, Patuakhali, Barguna and Bhola river ports while Tk 5 for Aricha, Ashuganj-Bhairab Bazar, Daulatdia, Nagarbari, Kazihat, Naradah, Tongi, Cox’s Bazar, Charjanaja, Meghnaghat, Mirkadim, Chhatak, Ghorashal, Faridpur, Chilmari and others river ports.
He said the BIWTA authorities cannot collect any fee for entry into at the port terminals as per the Inland Water Authority Ordinance-1958, 19 (2) (cc). “It’s against the constitution.”unb