The High Court yesterday directed the authorities concerned of Bangla Academy, which organises the month-long "Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela" (book fair), to allow its stall owners to accept payments from the customers and consumers using all methods of payment including online and mobile phone.
It also issued a rule asking the authorities to explain in two weeks why their action of entering into an agreement with only one company, bKash, a mobile financial service provider, creating a monopoly in violation of the Competition Act 2012, should not be declared against the public interest and without lawful authority.
The bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Faruque passed the order and rule after hearing a writ petition filed by Dr Md Sajjad Hossain, a professor of University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), challenging the legality of the agreement between Bangla Academy and bKash.
According to the agreement, the stall owners are allowed to accept the payments from the customers and consumers through bKash account and cash, petitioner's counsel Barrister Aneek R Haque told The Daily Star.
During hearing the petition, the counsel told the HC that if customer or consumer does not have any bKash account and does not carry cash money he or she cannot purchase any book from the book fair due to the agreement of Bangla Academy and bKash.
This agreement is against the spirit of the Competition Act, 2012 and it has created a monopoly, which cannot be allowed, he argued.