The issue of Basic Bank scam has come to limelight again as the legal action has not been taken against Abdul Hye Bachchu, the key suspect and former chairman of the bank. But this time the perspective is quite different. Member of the Parliament (MP) Fazle Noor Taposh for the first time asked the Anti-Corruption Commission to take legal steps against the former chairman. He also asked the ACC chairman to resign if he fails to deliver his duty. Taposh’s call will yield any result or not, that is now a question.
The anti-corruption watchdog’s position about Abdul Hai Bachchu is totally unethical and against the principle of equality. This lone example raises questions of the government’s drives against corruption. ACC cannot evade its liabilities. It is a matter of concern that the incident of Basic Bank scam has depicted the ACC’s image as an actor of ‘pick and choose’ policy. MP Taposh rightly said that Bachchu is the prime person behind the corruption in the banking sector through Basic Bank. The ACC has so far filed a total of 61 cases in connection with the Basic Bank scam. Businessmen and bankers allegedly involvement in the incident have been arrested and they are now in jail. But the former chairman is only exception. He is merely interrogated.
The ACC does not understand how its chairman is liable in this case. A spokesperson at the ACC briefed reporters on Tuesday. The ACC secretary is unable to understand the justification of ACC chairman’s resignation. He came up with a new theory saying “no one can be convicted before it is not ascertained where Tk 45 billion has been used or deposited’. This argument is ridiculous. The suspects arrested in the Basic Bank case will say, how are we ‘convicted’? It is the duty of the court to convict someone or not. The duty of the ACC is to submit the charge sheet to the court. We think the evidence available against Sheikh Abdul Hye Bachchu till now is enough to charge him in the case.
The name of Abdul Hye Bachchu was found in the reports of Bangladesh Bank, the parliamentary standing committee and the audit. It was primarily confirmed that he was the key suspect. The ACC secretary, however, said that the ACC investigation officers could not trace the cash. The claim is unexpected and unacceptable. This is a challenge against the reports of Bangladesh Bank and the parliamentary standing committee. It is sad that the ACC casually organised a press conference. It could not disclose the progress of the case.
The ACC should follow a standard in ensuring accountability. An ACC lawyer claimed a total of Tk 20 billion was recovered in connection with Basic Bank scam. It is natural to ask who has given the AC to recover the money. There are many state agencies to do the job. The story of money recovery is to some extent to talk in favour of looters. ACC’s self-contradictory and discriminatory policy must end.