It has become essential to specify rules and regulations regarding compensation to those affected by road accidents amid such disorder on the roads. The intervention of the judiciary is a must now due to persistent negligence of the executive.
Before the formulation of the act in 2018, there was a rule to form a claim tribunal under the district and sessions judges in each district. The victims, however, did not get benefit out of it due to laxity of the government and transport owners. In the context of countrywide demonstration by the students, a ray of hope came to the fore that an enactment of new law will help compensate the road crash victims. As the days pass, the hopes fade away. It is unfortunate that the demand for compensation still remains unfulfilled.
According to the new rule, a trustee board led by the BRTA chairman will fix the compensation. It is not clear when the new rule will be implemented. It is very shocking to think that there will be no authorities to look after the issue of compensation in a country where around 20 people die every day. But this is the reality. We want an immediate solution to this stalemate.
Following a number of writ petitions seeking compensation, the role of the judiciary in compensating the victims has drawn the attention of the common people. We welcome the public litigants. It is a reality that a permanent authority has to dispose the claims of compensation in view of frequent road accidents and casualties. It is high time to establish an arrangement so that the victims can apply for compensation to the officials concerned.
We would expect judicial activism for the implementation of the new law from the lawyers who filed cases in public interest.
We are concerned noticing that there is no urgency to implement the High Court orders regarding compensation. Journalist Mozzammel Hossain Montu died in 1989. The Appellate Division issued an order to pay Tk 12.50 million to the victim’s family. But the order is yet to be implemented. We also do not see any progress of compensating families of Tareque Masud and Mishuk Munier, who were to get Tk 40 million each.
Housewife Ayesha Khatun broke a bone of her backbone when she was run over by a bus two days after Titumir College student Rajib Hossain lost his hand between two buses in the city’s Kawran Bazar area. The High Court in its efforts could not show any progress in compensating their families.
It is certainly a positive incident that Green Line Paribahan has paid Tk 500,000 to Russel Sarker who lost his leg under the wheel of a bus. But that is not enough. The Green Line authorities could not set an example by providing financial assistance to Russel for his treatment. The leaders of the transport sector also did not stand by him and they did not put pressure on the Green Line authorities.
This shows the outlook of the transport owners in compensating the victims. We have to wait to see whether Green Line pays the rest Tk 4.5 million in one month. We demand immediate action to launch a permanent arrangement to provide compensation.