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ACC drops 3,000 graft cases

Many ruling party men favoured

Ahammad Foyez

The Anti-Corruption Commission has dropped 3,053 graft cases in the last two years whilst proceeding with only 521 cases, ACC statistics show.
Many of the cases dropped involve Awami League leaders or people associated with the party, commission officials have told New Age.
At the same time, the commission is continuing with cases filed against Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders.
In 2012, the commission launched investigation against 1,842 corruption allegations, cancelled a total of 1,047 cases before filing the first information report and dropped another 382 cases after the FIR was filed.
In the same year, 116 people were issued with notice to submit their wealth statements to the commission.
In 2013, the commission dropped 1,215 corruption allegations before filing the FIR and 409 cases after filing the FIR out of a total of 1,624 cases, the statistics state.
The ACC filed 350 corruption cases during the year and issued notices to 105 people to submit wealth statements.
Transparency International Bangladesh executive director Iftekharuzzaman told New Age that the ACC had dropped the cases mainly for two reasons – failure to prove allegations due to their professional inefficiency or due to political pressure from several quarters.
He said that some of the cases might have been dropped as investigators had received personal benefit from doing so.
‘The ACC law and rules also fail to maximise the commission’s potential power,’ he added.
Former ACC chairman Ghulam Rahman told New Age that he thought that the professional skills of the commission investigators needed improving.
‘Some of the allegations made were not possible to establish due to lack of cooperation of other government authorities,’ he said.
According to officials, the commission had dropped cases involving some senior ruling Awami League leaders or others linked to the party, from corruption allegation in 2013.
In 2013, the commission cancelled two cases against HBM Iqbal, who allegedly had embezzled public money abusing his power. The cases were filed in 2002.
The commission also had relieved Abul Hasnat Abdullah of two graft cases. The cases were filed in 2002, over allegation he had achieved illegal wealth.
Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir was also relieved of a graft case in June 2013. He allegedly had misappropriated about Tk 94 crore from the 2001 national census project while he was the state minister for planning. The commission filed the case against him in 2007.
The commission in 2013 also relieved former state minister ATM Giasuddin Ahmed, former lawmaker Abdul Kader Khan, the prime minister’s assistant personal secretary M Abdul Matin and former police superintendent of Chittagong Iftekhar Ahmed.
At the same time, the commission is continuing with the cases of opposition leaders whose cases were filed in the period of the military-backed caretaker government in 2007, the ACC sources said.
The officials said that the commission was still continuing its legal actions in the on-going cases against some politicians, including BNP’s Moudud Ahmed, former Dhaka mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, Ali Asgar Lobi and his family members, Mosaddek Ali Falu, Ehsanul Haque Milon, AKM Mosharraf Hossain, Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku and his family members, and expelled BNP leader Nazmul Huda and his family members.
The commission chairman M Badiuzzman said that the steps taken against opposition leaders were ‘nothing special’. ‘This is a scheduled work of the commission.’
The maximum corruption cases during the last two years were dropped due to lack of professional efficiency and political and administrative interference, experts said.
According to ACC statistics, a total of 3,053 corruption cases were dropped in last two years – 2012 and 2013, while the commission filed 521 cases in the same period.

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