The Anti-Corruption Commission has decided to reopen cases against the people who got clemency from the now-defunct Truth and Accountability Commission created by the army-backed caretaker government during 2007-08.
The ACC in an office order last week asked the directors general and directors to reopen the corruption cases against those who were cleared by the TAC, ACC officials told New Age.
They said that the office order signed by ACC secretary M Shamsul Arefin says that there was no scope to drop inquiries and investigations by the TAC as the Supreme Court declared it illegal.
According to the ACC officials, TAC awarded clemency to 452 graft suspects in five months since August 2008.
They said that after 270 suspects’ corruption cases were transferred from the ACC to the TAC they got clemency following confessions that they had accumulated ill-gotten wealth worth total Tk 28 crore.
But according to ACC findings, they said, the total worth of their illegal assets would exceed Tk 400 crore.
They said that some of the suspects got clearance from TAC going through the now-defunct National Coordination Committee On Prevention of Serious Crimes, some of them through lower courts and some approached the TAC directly.
Most of the people who enjoyed clemency were officials of the departments of land and roads and highways and some were from other government departments, said ACC officials.
The creation of the TAC drew severe criticism from right organizations and the other quaters.
On Wednesday, ACC chairman Iqbal Mahmood told New Age replying to a question that he had ordered ACC officials to prepare a list of suspects who were granted mercy by the TAC for taking decisions on how to reopen investigations against them.
He also said that the suspects cleared by the TAC would face legal steps.
He said investigations would resume from where the process was suspended against 270 corruption suspects whose cases were transferred from the ACC to the TAC.
He said that after retrieving the names of the remaining 182 suspects who got clemency, a decision would be taken with regard to how the investigations would proceed against them.
On May 16, 2011, the Supreme Court upheld a High Court Division’s verdict that had struck down the TAC.
The HC gave the verdict on October 13, 2008, in response to a public interest writ petition filed by SC lawyer Adilur Rahman Khan, Ubinig executive director Farida Akhter, the then Awami League women affairs secretary Dipu Moni and human rights group Odhikar’s Nasiruddin Elan.
On August 25, 2008, the PIL writ petition was filed challenging TAC’s legality.
The military-backed caretaker administration of Fakhruddin Ahmed said it formed the Truth Commission in 2008 to provide corrupt officials and businessmen the opportunity to get clemency by admitting their misdeeds and depositing the ill-gotten money in the treasury.
Transparency International Bangladesh executive director Iftekharuzzaman welcomed the ACC move and he advised the ACC to take actions all the pardoned corruption suspects.
News Courtesy: www.newagebd.net