DHAKA: The High Court on Monday directed Bangla Academy authorities to allow the stalls of month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair to accept all payment methods from customers including mobile payment services.
The HC bench of Justice Tarique-ul Hakim and Justice M Faruk passed the order with rule following a writ petition filed by a private university teacher Sazzad Hussain.
In the rule, the HC asked authorities concerned to explain within two weeks why it’s contract with only mobile payment service ‘Bkash’ for customers to pay for books other than cash should not be declared illegal and against public interest.
Bangla Academy director general (DG), secretary and member secretary of the Book Fair organizer committee were made respondents to the rule.
Barrister Anik-al Huq moved in behalf of the petitioner while deputy attorney general Amatul Karim moved for the state in court.
Later Anik said, petitioner Sazzad bought a book from a stall in Ekushey Book Fair last week but failed to pay for it due to lack of cash and offered credit card payment. The stall authority then refused to take credit card and asked for payment in Bkash which is the only available mobile payment service in the fair.
After looking into the matter, Sazzad found that Bangla Academy unilaterally gave the opportunity to Bkash and made a deal with them. Later on Sunday (February 11), he filed the writ in the relevant section of High Court for the sake of public interest.
Barrister Anik further said that despite having several payment services, Bangla academy’s one-sided deal with Bkash is contrary to the Competition Act-2012.
BDST: 1953 HRS, FEB 12, 2018