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Monday, November 18, 2019

Writ seeks probe into price hike

Staff Reporter :
A writ petition was filed on Sunday with the High Court Division of the Supreme Court seeking direction upon the concerned bodies of the government to take immediate necessary steps to monitor and control of the onion price in the local markets.
The High Court bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice K M Hafizul Alam asked the petitioner to observe one week as the government is concerned about the matter.
The writ petitioner, a Supreme Court lawyer, also prayed to the court to direct upon the respondents to constitute an independent enquiry committee for investigation about the unexpectedly increase of onion price within one week and submit the compliance with the court in two weeks.
The petitioner sought a rule upon the respondents to show cause as to why the inactions to monitor and control of the onion price hike in local markets should not be declared illegal and as to why the respondents should not be directed to take immediate necessary steps to monitor and control of the kitchen item's price in the market.
Commerce Secretary, Agriculture Secretary, Director General of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, Chairman of Anti-Corruption Commission, Chairman of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Inspector General of Police have been made respondents in the writ petition.
Md Tanveer Ahmed, a SC lawyer, filed the petition yesterday. The lawyer himself appeared in favour his petition in the court while Deputy Attorney General AKM Aminuddin Manik stood for the state.
The petition said, "Onion is one of the major ingredients of cooking in our country. We all depend on onion for cooking. Therefore, we cannot think of proper cooking without onion because it impacts on our regular food habituation."
"The unexpected increase of onion price affects all across the country, especially the poor people, because it goes their purchase capacity. But it seems that concerned authorities neither taken any initiatives nor gave them any support. If this condition continues, it would also affect to our agriculture sector in a long term basis," also read the petition.
"Onion business goes under the control of syndicate and they could artificially up and down the price. In addition, they could make down the price of onion at the time of harvesting and thus, the farmers might be more affected. So in this circumstance, proper steps are necessary for both short and long- term basis in order to avoid further damages," read the petition.
Earlier on November 16, the petitioner sent a legal notice to the respondents to take necessary steps in this regard within 24 hours. Otherwise, legal proceedings shall be initiated against them, said the notice.