The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft Sarkari Chakori Ain 2018 with a provision for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to take prior permission of the authorities concerned for arresting any public servant.
The approval was given at the weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at the Prime Minister’s Office with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
“No public servant can be arrested until a court frames charges against him/her. A government employee can be arrested before charge-framing only after taking prior permission from the authorities concerned,” Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said while briefing reporters on the outcome of the meeting at the Secretariat.
The Cabinet gave its nod to a total of eight agenda, including two more draft laws – ‘Infectious Diseases (Prevention, Control and Elimination) Act 2018’ and ‘Brick Manufacturing and Brick kilns Construction (Control) (Amendment) Act 2018’.
A draft of Bimstec Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters was approved for signing with Nepal.
The Cabinet also adopted a condolence motion at the demise of some renowned personalities, including former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Opposition Chief Whip in Parliament Tajul Islam Chowdhury.
About the Sarkari Chakori Ain, the Cabinet Secretary said under the existing system, the service of public servants is controlled by different laws. “There’s no specific law in this regard. But this law will control the service of public servants and all the issues of their jobs will come under the umbrella of this proposed law,” he said.
He admitted that the ACC will face obstacles in arresting corrupt public servants through setting up traps as it will need prior permission of the department concerned before the arrest.
Work on the proposed law was initiated about 10 years back and after a number of changes, it was placed before the Cabinet for its approval. The law will come into force once it is passed by Parliament.
Shafiul Alam said the existing age limit for the retirement of public servants remains unchanged at 59 while 60 for freedom fighters.
However, the government can send a public servant on forced retirement on completion of his/her 25 years in service without showing any reason in the public interest, he said, adding that similarly, any public servant can go on voluntary retirement on completion of 25 years in service, he said.
The Cabinet Secretary said merit and open competition will be the main criteria for the recruitment of public servants while promotion will be given based on merit, efficiency, seniority and performance.
He said if any public servant takes a foreign citizenship, he will lose his job. But in the case of dual citizenship, nothing was said in the law.
A public servant will get financial support from the government to face a criminal case if it is filed for any cause while performing professional duties, Shafiul said. “But if he is tried in any criminal case for personal crimes and jailed for more than one year, he’ll lose his job.”
Under the proposed law, the government can realise compensation from a public servant if any complaint lodged against him/her by a citizen is proved to be true and if any citizen is deprived of any public service.