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Cases of energy and power sector to be disposed at BERC Tribunal from now

All cases of power and energy sector will be disposed at special tribunal in Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) instead of regular court from now on, Dr Salim Mahmud the chairman of BERC Tribunal said.

Even the existing cases in the higher court are being re-directed towards the tribunal, informed Mahmud at a press conference organised at the BERC headquarter in Dhaka on Sunday.

The tribunal will work as a judicial council of the commission as per the BERC Act 2003. The tribunal was formed under the BERC in last year.

Salim Mahmud was appointed as the chairman of the BERC Tribunal. Two other members of the seven members were also appointed. They are Mokhlesur Rahman Khandoker and Md Emdadul Haque.

The process of appointing other members is also going on. The hearings of some of the cases have already started.

The  tribunal could give advises to about BERC Act, policies, contracts, licenses, prices of goods to the commission on its own or as per the request of the commission. It can also give advice on the price revision proposal submitted by the distribution companies.

Dr Mahmud said that the tribunal will look after all complains in the energy and power sector. There will be no need to go to the regular court.

He informed that there are several thousands of cases pending in the power and energy sector. The higher court has already sent back a lot of cases to the tribunal.

As per the act, the verdict given by the tribunal will be the final verdict. There will be no appeal granted in any court against the verdict given in the BERC tribunal. However as per the constitution of Bangladesh, any individual can go to higher court against the verdict to exercise his/her constitutional right.

Tribunal will send its verdict to the commission for final approval. The commission will analyze the verdicts to give its observation.

The act said that if there is a problem with the licensing of any company, the complaint will be placed in the tribunal. Tribunal will analyze the complaints and send its observation regarding this to the commission. The tribunal will have the power to call on for witness and make the witness appear in the court for cross-examination.

The Tribunal will have the power to ask for and to present any important document for conducting the cases. It can also sought evidences supported by affidavit and preserved information in other courts. The tribunal also has the power to adjourn a hearing.

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