A writ petition has been filed in the High Court to ban the export of hilsa to India. On Tuesday (September 20), the lawyer of the Supreme Court Md. Mahmudul Hasan filed this writ petition in the relevant branch of the High Court.
In the application, the inaction of the defendants in banning the export of hilsa to any other country including India at a low price is sought to be declared illegal and a direction has been sought to permanently ban hilsa fish in India.
The petitioner lawyer said that the writ petition may be heard in a bench of the High Court next week.
In the writ, the secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Fisheries and Livestock, Foreign Affairs, Private Aviation and Tourism, the Chairman of the Board of Revenue, the Office of the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports and the Chairman of the Bangladesh Tourism Corporation have been made defendants.
According to the writ application, even though hilsa fish is the national fish of Bangladesh, due to the high price, the poor people of Bangladesh cannot even think about buying this hilsa fish. On the other hand, the middle class people of the country are also struggling to buy this hilsa fish. According to media reports, poor farmers are not able to buy a kilogram of hilsa fish even after selling two maunds of paddy. The price of hilsa fish has gone from 1600 to 1800 taka per kg. On the other hand, this hilsa fish of Bangladesh is being exported to India at the price of only 10 dollars (about 950 taka) per kg. That is, hilsa is being exported to India at almost half the market price of Bangladesh.
The writ petition has alleged violation of the Constitution against the respondents. It is said that according to the constitution of Bangladesh, ensuring food safety for the public is one of the main duties of the government. On the other hand, it is the constitutional duty of the defendants to always be engaged in the interest of the people.
It is said in the application that by exporting hilsa to India at a lower price than the country’s market, the concerned people including the Ministry of Commerce have violated the country’s constitution. They have destroyed the food security of the people of the country and acted against the interest of the people. Besides, according to Export Policy 2021-24, Hilsa fish is not a freely exportable product. Therefore, in the writ case, a request has been made to permanently stop the export of this hilsa fish. In addition, the writ has asked the Tourism Corporation to work for the development of hilsa fish-centric tourism.
Earlier on September 11, lawyer Md. Mahmudul Hasan sent a legal notice to the government to ban the export of hilsa to India.