A Supreme Court lawyer yesterday served a legal notice on Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan, requesting him to explain in 24 hours under what authority he has been holding the post of executive president of Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Sramik Federation (Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation).
Advocate Aklas Uddin Bhuiyan sent the legal notice saying that holding the office of executive president of the federation by a minister is contradictory to the constitution.
In the legal notice, he said Shajahan Khan has been elected a member of parliament unopposed in the election held on January 5, 2014. He took oath on January 12 the same year.
As a minister he cannot hold the post of executive president, as Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Sramik Federation is a collective bargaining agency (CBA), Aklas Uddin added.
CBA is supposed to bargain with the government about workers' facilities and take action against a worker if they are involved in any offence.
As a minister, Shajahan Khan being elected executive president of the federation is against the constitution and morally questionable, Aklas Uddin said in the notice.
He told The Daily Star that he will move a writ petition before the High Court, seeking a necessary order, if Shajahan Khan does not reply to his legal notice in 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Transparency International Bangladesh has demanded removal of two ministers -- Shajahan Khan and Mashiur Rahman Ranga -- saying their public post is directly in conflict of interest as they are involved in leading posts of transport workers and owners' associations while holding public offices.
“One person cannot be a minister and labour leader at the same time. There are two ministers like this. [We] demand their removal. We want transparency and accountability in the transport sector,” said Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of TIB, yesterday. He said this while speaking on the sideline of a press conference at TIB office in Dhaka.
Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan is executive president of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation and LGRD State Minister Mashiur Rahman is president of National Road Transport Owners' Association of Bangladesh.