The High Court today issued a contempt of court rule against the health secretary and director general (DG) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) for not complying with its judgment to ensure emergency medical services for road crash victims.
In the rule, the court ordered Health Secretary Md Abdul Mannan and DG of DGHS Prof Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam to show cause in two weeks as to why contempt of court proceedings should not be brought against them for failing to comply with its judgment.
A virtual High Court bench of Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Justice Khizir Hayat issued the order after hearing a contempt of court petition filed by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST).
In the petition, BLAST said the HC two years ago had directed the health ministry to modify and publish guidelines on emergency medical services for road crash victims and those assisting them.
Despite repeated reminders and notices, no action has been taken, BLAST said.
In the meantime, those sustaining severe injuries in road crashes continue to face major challenges in securing emergency healthcare, particularly during the pandemic, it said.
During the hearing, barrister Rashna Imam, lawyer for BLAST, told the court, “As a direct result of the failure of the health ministry to comply with the judgment dated 18.8.2018 over the past two years, road crash victims in need emergency medical services are still being refused treatment by hospitals with total impunity.”
Advocate Rezaul Karim and Advocate Sharmin Akhter assisted Rashna Imam while Deputy Attorney General Jahangir Alam represented the state during the hearing.