Legal tangles hold ACC from responding to 92 % tips on graft

Md Solamain Salman

3rd October, 2019 09:39:56 printer

Legal tangles hold ACC from responding to 92 % tips on graft

Legal tangles were holding back the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to work with full steam with 92 percent of tips or complaints on graft remained unattended, officials said.

They said the ACC had received some 63,046 written allegations from across the country in the past 46 months, while the commission responded to only 4,408 tips during the same period.

Though the anti-graft body has received huge number of tips, it failed to deal with most of the cases due to legal bindings, insiders say.

The ACC kept only eight per cent of the tips with itself and sent the rest to the concerned ministries for taking action against those named involved in corruption.

ACC chairman Iqbal Mahmood said “The Commission has no such opportunity to take any remedial action on tips or complaints which were out of ACC Act. But the commission is giving necessary support to the complainants.”

The ACC boss urged the people to submit their tips or papers regarding offences which were under the scheduled of the ACC act.

ACC statistics shows that the anti-graft body got some 15,497 allegations from January to September 30 but it took only 1,199 allegations to carry out probe.

It means that only 8 percent allegations accepted while the commission could not accept rest of 92 percent allegations as they have no jurisdiction to look after the incident.

The 92 percent allegations sent to the concerned ministry or departments of the government for taking necessary measures.

Earlier, the commission received 16,606 allegations in 2018 but it accepted only 1,265 allegations to run probe but it did not accept rest of the 15,341 as this are out of ACC act scheduled offences.

In 2017, the national anti-graft watchdog got 17,953 allegations but its accepted only 937 for conducting probe which is only 5 percent while it could not accept rest of the 17,016 allegations which is 95 percent.

ACC also got 12,990 allegations in 2016 but it conducted investigations about 1007 allegations while rest of the 11,983 were sent to the concerned ministry or departments for look after the allegations.

Talking to daily sun, ACC public relation Officer Pranab Kumar Bhattacharjee said “analyzing the statistics of the complaints it was found that the commission accepted only 8 percent, while the rest 92 percent remained unattended due to legal bindings of the commission.”

He said “This limitation in the ACT might give a wrong picture to those who submit complaints or send tips and that might discourage others who intend to do so.”

 “Because, the ACC is an organization which was created by law that does not have the opportunity to take any legal action about complaints, which were out of the schedule of ACC Act,” said Pranab

ACC hotline: 31 lakh calls in two years

Meanwhile, thousands of people call the ACC every day, asking the watchdog to take measures against the pandemic corruption they come across.

Insiders say the commission receives on average 6,500 calls every working day through its hotline number 106, a platform for receiving allegations.

People from any corner of the country can make phone call free of cost and share allegation of corruption with the ACC men.

Record shows that the ACC received around 31 lakh calls in two years since its inauguration on July 27, 2017 to July 31, this year.

Following the allegations received from the callers, the commission conducted 626 drives to prevent corruption in the last two years while it selected 43 allegations to carry out investigation.

A number of corrupt government officials and employees were suspended from their job by the recommendation of the ACC while 22 officials face show cause notices in the period.

During the ACC drives, the mobile court of local administration awarded 19 people different term of jail and some others were fined.

ACC enforcement unit stopped construction work of around 23 Kilometres of roads due to corruption while it evicted 219 illegal establishments. The commission stopped corruption in 26 tender processes while it also prevented some corruption regarding recruitment.

ACC officials also said more than 50 illegal Gas and electricity connections were disconnected while they recovered 73 decimal (Khas) land with the help of local administration in the last two years based on the hotline allegations.

However, the ACC could not accept many of the complaints received through the hotline 106 as they were not related to ACC activities.