HC rule to enforce road transport law and regulate drivers

Dhaka, April 28 – The High Court on Sunday issued a rule a rule asking the government to explain within two weeks why its inaction to issue a gazette notification on the Road Transport Act-2018 in line with the sub-section 2 of the act should not be declared illegal.
It also asked the government to explain why it should not be directed to publish the gazette notification on the official gazette to give effect the Road Transport Act-2018.
In response to a writ petition, the HC bench comprising Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal issued the rule.
A total of eight high officials including secretaries of the Cabinet Division, President, Prime Minister, the Ministry of Public Administration, Ministry of Law, Ministry of Home and Road Transport and Bridges Division have been made respondents to the rule within two weeks.
Earlier, on April 23, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), a human rights body, filed the writ petition with HC seeking its directive on the government to issue a gazette notification on the Road Transport Act 2018 in order to put the law into effect immediately.
Advocate Manzill Murshid, who moved with the petition on behalf of the organization, told the court although the government had earlier passed the Road Transport Act-2018, it is yet to issue a gazette notification for the effectiveness of the act. Hence, the court should pass an order so that the government would issue a gazette notification immediately for putting the law into effect, he added.
According to a provision of the law, the government has to issue another gazette notification to make the law effective, but that notification is yet to be published, Manzill said.
The bill on the Road Transport Act was passed in order to ensure people’s safety and life security on roads as well as to make those involved in the road transport sector accountable, particularly bus and truck drivers, helpers, owner, and their associations, he added.
On April 10, the HRPB had sent a legal notice to the government to make the Road Transport Act-2018 effective by publishing a gazette notification within the next seven days.
Hard on the heels of last year’s student movement for safe roads, the Jatiya Sangsad passed the Road Transport Act, 2018, on September 19 last year and subsequently the president also gave his consent to the new law on October 9 the same year.
A gazette notification was also published about the passage of the law but it was mentioned that the government would set the law in motion after fixing an implementation schedule with an official notification.
A 15-member committee was formed on February 17 to curb road mishaps and restore discipline on roads and highways. Headed by former shipping minister Sajahan Khan, the committee was mandated to submit a report in 14 working days. But the committee is yet to submit the report. – Staff Reporter