‘You cannot remain silent’
The High Court yesterday came down hard on Bangladesh Railway for mismanagement, ticket scalping and carrying passengers on the train roofs.
"If any train carries passengers on its roof, appropriate actions will be taken against the officials concerned," said the court.
The bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat made the remarks during a suo moto proceedings on this issue.
The HC bench ordered the rail authorities to inform it by July 31 what steps have been taken to stop passengers journeying on the train roofs and ticket scalping -- a practice of illegally purchasing tickets for reselling them at an inflated price.
During the proceedings, the HC asked two railway officials, "Why is there so much mismanagement in rail services? Why will ticket scalping take place? Why will people travel on the roof of the trains?"
Such a situation cannot be allowed to continue, the bench observed.
Earlier on the day, Joint Director General of Bangladesh Railway AM Salahuddin and Director (Traffic) Md Nahid Hasan Khan and sohoz.com official Zunayer Hossain appeared before the HC bench to convey the steps taken to prevent mismanagement in the railway services.
AM Salahuddin told the HC bench they have some limitations in preventing passengers from travelling on the roof.
The HC bench then asked the official whether the passengers on the roofs pay fares.
If the passengers are allowed to travel on the roof even after they pay fares, it is outright corruption and must be stopped at any cost, the HC bench said, adding that accidents might take place if people are allowed to be on the roofs.
"You cannot remain silent. This cannot be allowed. You must discharge your duties properly," Justice Nazrul Islam Talukder told the officials.
Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik told the court the railway authorities have taken steps to form a committee to probe the mismanagement in services.
The issues came to the fore after Dhaka University student Mohiuddin Roni waged a protest lately.
On Wednesday, the HC bench wanted to know about the sit-in programme enforced by Roni demanding improvement of railway services and about the steps taken to this effect.
The bench delivered the order on a suo moto move following a photo of Roni and a caption published on The Daily Star yesterday.
Senior lawyer Khusrhid Alam Khan appeared for the Anti-Corruption Commission during the proceedings.