The High Court yesterday asked authorities concerned to submit a report before it on unfit and unregistered vehicles plying the streets and drivers without valid licences.
The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice KM Hafizul Alam passed the order on a suo moto move following a report published on The Daily Star on March 23 under the headline “No fitness docs, yet running”.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) chairman and director (road safety), Inspector General of Police and two deputy commissioners (Traffic –North and South) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, will have to submit the report by April 30.
The bench also asked Mahbub-E-Rabbani, director (road safety) of the BRTA, to appear before the court on April 30 and give his explanation over the issue.
The issue was brought to the court's attention by Supreme Court lawyer Syed Mamun Mahbub, who read out the newspaper report.
The court then asked the newly elected president of Supreme Court Bar Association AM Aminuddin to comment over the issue.
Aminuddin said action should be taken to bring discipline to roads for public interest and directives could be given to come up with lists of unfit vehicles and drivers without proper licences.
During the hearing, the court said no one was above the law and compliance of law was the pre-condition of a country's development. No country could become developed without respecting the law and everyone must obey laws, the court said before issuing the directives and rules.
It issued a rule asking the authorities concerned of the government to explain why their inaction to stop running of unfit vehicles and unlicenced drivers should not be declared illegal.
The HC also asked why directives should be given to implement the relevant laws, including the Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1983.
Under the Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1983, vehicles must undergo mandatory fitness checks every year. But according to BRTA, a total of 71,218 vehicles have not had their fitness certificates renewed in 10 years, and many of those plying the roads pose serious risks of accidents.
The secretary of the road, transport and bridges ministry, home secretary, IGP, BRTA chairman and director (road safety), and two deputy commissioners (Traffic– North and South) of DMP have to reply to the rule within four weeks.
As of December last year, about 38 lakh vehicles have been registered with the BRTA. Of them, 24.5 lakh are motorcycles that do not require annual fitness certificates.
Of the rest, some 6.5 lakh vehicles obtain fitness certificates every year on average, a BRTA official said.