ACC cannot take cognizance due to non-scheduled offences
Special Correspondent: Despite receiving hundreds of complaints of corruption and irregularities, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) cannot take cognizance of most of the complaints due to non-scheduled offences. According to the ACC Act, the agency can only investigate seven types of corruption related to the government and government officials.
But the agency’s investigation statistics show that in 2022, 52 percent of complaints taken up for investigation were resolved by filing or termination (complaint discharge).
In other words, even after starting the investigation, the persons concerned have been released from 581 complaints. Among which there are at least 84 government officials and employees.
On the other hand, in 93 cases last year, the accused were acquitted by granting FRT (exoneration from trial). As a percentage that is 28 percent. A large part of those who got immunity are government officials and employees.
However, the full list of those accused was not available. Another source says that more than 150 government officials and employees have been exonerated or freed from corruption liability in the last one year through registration and FRT.
In 2022, 52% of the complaints taken up for investigation were disposed of through registration or termination (complaint discharge). In other words, even after starting the investigation, the persons concerned have been released from 581 complaints. Among which there are at least 84 government officials and employees.
Those concerned say that various controversies are often raised about termination and FRT. Many believe that corruption can be absolved by illegal means of financial transactions or showing power. Because of which ACC as an institution has to face embarrassing situations many times. Sometimes there are precedents of summoning the concerned investigating officer from the High Court and asking for an explanation.
When asked about the ending of ACC investigation and the FRT controversy, ACC Commissioner (Investigation) Md. MozammelHaque Khan told that the matter is embarrassing for the ACC. The investigation is concluded and the case has been FRT. 60-70 percent of our cases are tried by filing charge sheets. Debate over the remaining 30 percent. It is not correct that it is due to money or other reasons.
“While we are not investigating any allegations, the allegations contain many facts that make it appear that he is a major criminal. It is also seen that 10 houses have been mentioned in the complaint. But the house does not exist. When the search is started on the basis of such false information, it will end. In that case, the matter cannot be defined in any other way.
On the other hand, in the case of FRT, the investigating officer at the inquiry stage files a case after receiving the crime. But at the investigation stage, sometimes sufficient documentary evidence is not found for the crime. When the FRT is issued it is submitted to the court with the appropriate opinion of the Legal Wing consisting of competent officers of the Department of Justice. That is, decisions are made following a very precise process. We think it is more logical to give FRT than to proceed with a wrong decision. Don’t want to take any other questions here. I think we are on the right track.
A review of various data available from the ACC shows that 4,633 investigations were going in 2022. Among them, 1,119 inquiries have been settled with the permission of the commission. Out of this 406 cases have been filed. Where 172 cases are related to wealth. 581 inquiries have been resolved through termination. ACC disposed of the remaining 163 inquiries by recommending departmental action.
Officials of the Department of Immigration and Passports have the most names in the list of exemptions from charges. 15 officials including the director of that department have been acquitted of the charges of various irregularities and acquisition of illegal assets including making illegal passports.
They are – Director of Immigration and Passport Directorate (Administration and Finance) Md. Shihab Uddin Khan, his wife and Junior Consultant, National Orthopedic Hospital’s e-Rehabilitation Institute (NETOR) SharminAra Begum; Halima KhatunShampa, Deputy Director, Demography Branch, Passport Directorate, Deputy Director (Administration) Md. Ismail Hossain, Deputy Director (Establishment) Tariq Salman, Assistant Director (Administration) Azizul Islam, System Analyst Mohammad Nazrul Islam Bhuya and his wife Shafinaz Akhtar, Magura District Office Assistant Director NasreenParveenNupur, Passport Directorate Deputy Assistant Director (Administration) Safiqul Islam, Asst. Maintenance Engineer KanizFatema Chowdhury, Mahmudul Hasan and Assistant Accounts Officer Mohammad Masud Rana.
Besides, Assistant Director of Passport Directorate (CRI) JebunnaharParveen and Assistant Director of Feni Regional Passport Office Moktar Hossain have also been acquitted.
The former secretary of the Ministry of Information Maqbul Hossain who was sent to compulsory retirement is among the government officials who were exempted from the charges through the termination. Besides Inspector General of Police (retd.) Md. Nurul Anwar, Additional Superintendent of Police and former Deputy Director of ACC Md. LutfulKabirChandan and Dhaka Metropolitan Police Joint Commissioner Imam Hossain.
The other officials who have been exempted are- Saifur Rahman, the former chief engineer of Public Health Engineering Department, Narsingdi Public Health Engineering Department Executive Engineer Bashir Ahmed, Pabna Public Health Engineering Department Executive Engineer Md. Ahsan Habib, former administrative officer of Health Department HumayunKabir, Chittagong Port Authority Marine Engineering Department Executive Engineer (Marine) Md. Mohiuddin, Fire Service and Civil Defense Department Warehouse Inspector Md. Nuruzzaman, Assistant Revenue Officer of Dhaka Custom House, Mahfuzur Rahman, Office Assistant of Chittagong Custom Commissioner Office Md. DidarulAlam, Deputy Commissioner of Tax Zone-10 Md. HumayunKabir, Deputy Commissioner’s Office (Tracer) Md. Abdul Baten, former senior traffic assistant of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Md. Mosleh Uddin, cashier of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics Md. ShahinulAlam, Deputy Assistant Engineer of Water Development Board Md. Shamsher Ali, former vice-chancellor of Rajshahi University Prof. Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan, former project director of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute Dr. TalukdarNurunnahar, Narcotics Control Directorate Inspector SM SamsulKabir, Feni Deputy Commissioner’s Office Former Senior Assistant AKM Abdullah Bhuiyan, BSTI Former Field Officer (CM) Safayet Hossain, Chittagong District Commissioner’s Office Former ADC Md. Abu Hasan Siddique, former district fisheries officer of Noakhali Dr. Md. Motaleb Hossain, Deputy Attorney General Md. Fazlur Rahman Khan (FR Khan), Joint Head of Ministry of Planning (Joint Secretary) Md. Jalal Ahmed, Kushtia District Commissioner’s office office assistant cum computer typist Md. Anwar Hossain, Magura Assistant Upazila Family Planning Officer Md. DarulAlam, former inspector (officer in charge) of Panchari of Khagrachari AKM MoinulKhair, mayor of MymensinghTrishal ABM Anichhuzzaman, mayor of FeniSonagaziRafiqul Islam Khokon, executive horticulturist of Roads and Highways Department Md. Kamal Uddin Molla, BalaganjUpazila Assistant Settlement Officer of Sylhet Copist Cum Bench Assistant Md. Liaquat Ali, former Superintendent Engineer of Water Development Board, Hasan Mostafa Chowdhury, former Officer-in-Charge of Benapole Port Police Station, Apoorba Hasan, former Sub-Registrar of LaxmipurSadar Sub-Registry Office Asim Kumar Banik, former General Manager of Barisal PalliBidyut Samiti-1 Engineer Shankar Kumar Kar, Executive of Feni Municipality Engineer Md. AzizulHaque, Chittagong CDA Project Director Md. Mahfuzur Rahman, BhalukaUpazila Accounts Office Auditor of Mymensingh Md. Ruhul Amin, No. 11 Ghagra UP Chairman of Mymensingh Md. Shahjahan Sarkar Saju, Assistant Accountant of Northern Electricity Supply Company Limited (NESCO) Md. FazlulHaque,Sylhet’s Osmani International Airport Tower Control and Manager Md. Hafiz Ahmed, assistant teacher of South Maizhati Government Primary School in KishoreganjPakundia Md. AshrafulAlam, Panchagarh LGED Lab Technician Syed Murtuza Ali Khandkar, Bangladesh Export Zone Authority (BEPZA) Chairman PS-2 Abdullah Al Mahbub (DGM), ZillaParishad Senior Assistant Md. Safiqul Islam, surveyor of LA branch of Chittagong Shahidul Islam, former chief assistant of Chittagong district administrator office (revenue branch) Mohammad Yunuchh, chairman of Phulpur 3 Vaitkandi Union Parishad of MymensinghAlauddin Ahmed, executive engineer (Marine) of Chittagong Port Authority Md. Mohiuddin, Chairman of Galachipa Union ParishadMohiuddin Mohan, Talma Agricultural Breeding Center Office Assistant of Animal Resources Department Md. Aslam Khan, General Manager (Commercial) of Alco Pharma Limited Md. Shakhawat Hossain, Deputy Director of Barisal Secondary and Higher Education Board Md. Anwar Hossain, Fisheries Officer of KurigramFulbariUpazila Md. MahmudunnabiMithu, former civil surgeon of Khagrachari hill district Dr. Nishit Nandi Majumdar, Deputy Assistant Engineer of Rajbari Roads and Public Ways Department Chowdhury SajjadArefin, Principal of Companyganj East Muchapur Government Primary School Nazrul Islam, JessoreUpazila Relief and Rehabilitation Officer KaziAnwarulAlam, former chairman of Padua Union Omar Farooq, Chittagong Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board Assistant College Inspector AK FazlulHaque, Warehouse Inspector of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense Directorate Md. Nuruzzaman, SundarbanSarankhola station officer Md. Abdul Mannan, former chief engineer of Dhaka Education and Engineering Department Mizanul Karim, HazratShahjalal Airport animal resource quarantine laboratory technician Md. Aktar Hossain, assistant professor of Begum Badrunnecha Government Women’s College, Dhaka Khujista Akhtar Banu, Barisal District Registrar NripendraNathSikdar, Matuail Institute of Child and Mother Health (ICMH) Assistant Surgeon Dr. JohuraKhatun.
On the other hand, a total of 1,997 cases were ongoing till 2022, including incomplete investigations of the past days. Out of these cases, 224 charges have been submitted after investigation. FRTs have been given in 93 cases. Besides, 14 cases have been sent to other agencies for investigation.
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