Truth Commission mercy certificate holders face ACC probe

Dipu Sarwar
Published : 07:30, Nov 05, 2018 | Updated : 10:19, Nov 06, 2018

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will restart the investigation on self-confessed corrupt persons, who got reprieve by the Truth Commission set up during the former caretaker government.
Ninety corruption cases by ACC are also being revived. At that time, 448 persons, including 265 government officials, took pardon from the Truth Commission.
DG of ACC, Mohammad Munir Chowdhury, says that this is being done to ascertain if these people have become embroiled in new corruption or not.
ACC secretary, Dr. Md. Shamsul Arefin, said: “many took reprieve from the Truth Commission though high court has deemed such a privilege illegal.”
Consequently, those who took the reprieve will have to face justice, he added.
Most of those who received clemency are officials of Dhaka Electric Supply Authority, DESA, WASA, T&T, department of post, port authorities in Chattogram, BRTA, BTCL and other service providing government bodies.
On 8 June, 2008, the former caretaker government formed the Truth Commission under the Voluntary Disclosure of Information ordinance.
With the provision of lenient punishment for admitting transgressions, the commission began operation on 3 August, working till 2 January 2009.
In five months, 491 persons applied for clemency. Of them, 448 took part in hearing and paid financial penalties. These people later got mercy certificates by the Truth Commission.
On 25 August, 2008, lawyer Adilur Rahman Khan, AL leader Dipu Moni and others lodged a writ challenging the legality of the Truth Commission based on which, the high court declared it illegal on 13 November.
Later, in 2011, based on an appeal for stay order of the high court verdict, appellate division upheld the high court’s order stating that the commission is in contravention to constitution.
This has opened the way for ACC to take action against self-confessed corrupt persons.