No scope to take action against Abdus Sobhan MP: EC

Abdus Sobhan Miah alias GolapProthom Alo

The election commission (EC) on Sunday said they have nothing to do with the allegations raised against the ruling Awami-League (AL) parliamentarian, Md Abdus Sobhan Miah alias Golap, in a report published in Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) recently.  

"As he has already been elected and nobody challenged him [before the election], the concerned authorities first will have to take action over the allegations. When they inform us of the measures, then we will take action," the election commissioner Md Alamgir said.

The report says Awami League lawmaker Abdus Sobhan Miah alias Golap purchased multiple apartments in New York of the United States at the cost of USD 4 million.

But he did not declare the information during his parliamentary run in the 11th parliamentary election held in 2018.  

When the newsmen asked the commissioner whether any action would be taken against him, he said they have not been empowered with the authority to take action after a person is elected.

"If the information in the affidavit is challenged by anyone before the election, then the commission can take action after a scrutiny. However, the EC has nothing to do in this regard if the person is elected, submitting false information," he asserted.   

MD Alamgir further said if the National Board of Revenue (NBR) or the court or the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) informs the EC after taking any punitive measure for hiding the facts, then the commission will take actions in line with the law.  

Citing an example, the commissioner said if anyone deceives by showing fake educational qualifications in the affidavit, then police will file a criminal case. If the accused is sentenced in that case, then the EC will take action.       

Replying to another query, the commissioner said the task of EC is to unveil the election affidavit, not to scrutinise. However, the commission can recheck if anyone challenges it during the submission. If the veracity of the allegation is proved true, then the nomination paper will be canceled.   

"If he didn't pay tax and did hide the assets during return submission, then the NBR can file a case [against him]. The ACC can do so. The measure will be taken as per the sentence he will be awarded in the cases," Md Alamgir clarified.      

The report also said Golap participated in the election, concealing his dual citizenship.

Talking about the issue, the commissioner commented, "Foreign citizens cannot contest elections. The home ministry is responsible for looking after the citizenship. If they inform us of the issue, we will investigate it as per the law."