The Supreme Court today (October 10, 2022) upheld a High Court order that sought a report on the salaries, allowances and others facilities given to Engineer Taqsem A Khan, managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa), during the last 13 years.
The Appellate Division of the SC upheld another HC order that issued an injunction restraining the Dhaka Wasa authorities from distributing performance bonus of its employees for three months.
Chamber judge of the Appellate Division, Justice Borhanuddin passed “no order” on two separate leave to appeal petitions filed by Wasa MD Taqsem and its board seeking stay on the HC orders.
Lawyer AM Masum appeared for Wasa MD and board while lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua argued for the Consumers’ Association of Bangladesh (CAB) during hearing today.
Following a writ petition filed by CAB, the HC on August 17 ordered the chairman of Dhaka Wasa to submit a report before it in 60 days, detailing the total gross salaries, performance bonus, travel allowance and daily allowances (TADA), and all other benefits in terms of cash paid to Taqsem A Khan since the year of his appointment.
The HC also questioned the legality of Taqsem A Khan holding the position of MD and CEO of Dhaka Wasa and paying him Tk 6.25 lakh as his gross monthly salary.
The court issued a rule asking the authorities concerned of the government to explain why their inaction in not taking any step to remove Taqsem from the post of Wasa MD and CEO and in cancelling the previous decisions increasing his salary in violation of the Service Order (Salary and Benefits), 2015 and the notification issued in this regard by the finance ministry, should not be declared illegal.
Secretary at the ministry of local government and rural development; board of Dhaka Wasa and its chairman; and Taqsem A Khan were made respondents to the rule which is returnable in four weeks.
Taqsem A Khan was made Dhaka Wasa MD in 2009. Despite severe criticism of his role in ensuring qualities of Wasa services, he was reappointed for the sixth term.
Following another writ petition filed by CAB, the HC on August 16 questioned the legality of Dhaka Wasa’s decision to raise water tariff by five percent from September 1.
The court issued a rule asking the authorities concerned of the government and Dhaka Wasa to explain why the fixation of water tariff without framing any rules and in violation of sections 21 and 22 of the Dhaka Wasa Act 1996 should not be declared illegal.
Secretary to the ministry of local government rural development (LGRD) and cooperatives, board of Dhaka Wasa, its board chairman and its managing director and the auditor and comptroller general (CAG) were made respondents to the rule.