ACC operated within â€˜comfort zone targeting small fryâ€™ in 2018
UNB, Dhaka :
The Anti-Corruption Commission, country's principal organ for fighting graft, was less actively engaged in fulfilling its stated function in 2018, as evidenced by a fall in the number of inquiries, investigations and charge-sheets it executed during the year, compared to 2017.
The ACC, however, contends it was more qualitatively engaged in graft-busting during the year.
According to the ACC's own data gleaned from its recently released annual report, some 3,427 complaints were submitted to the commission during 2018, of which it completed inquiries into 827 - around a quarter. In 2017, it completed inquiries into 1,445 out of 18,000 complaints it received. The ACC went on to file some 216 cases during 2018, against 273 in 2017.
The ACC also completed 489 investigations in 2018, almost half the number it did in 2017, when it completed 965. This number includes investigations that may have been initiated in previous years.
The commission's own data shows that it submitted 236 charge-sheets
during 2018, against 382 in 2017.
ACC Public Relations Officer Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya told UNB that the case rate is going down as they are paying attention to 'quality investigation. "We've no shortage of resources but officials are assigned to submit quality investigation reports."
During a press briefing after submitting the ACC's annual report to President Abdul Hamid on May 13, ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmood also said that the commission was looking into the quality of investigations to ensure "100 percent success rate" in the trial of corruption cases.
Iqbal Mahmud also emphasised the need to eliminate corruption at the lowest level of the administration and said it becomes difficult to take action when lowly-ranked corrupt officers become influential.
The ACC chief said, "The majority of Bangladeshis live in rural areas. Villagers don't have access to the DCs, SPs.