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Parliament To Probe Sircar PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Speaker Abdul Hamid, in the face of demands by MPs, has announced that a parliamentary committee will be constituted to investigate corruption charges against his predecessor Muhammad Jamiruddin Sircar.

He said Monday he would instruct the Comptroller and Auditor General's office to audit accounts of all speakers in a first such instance in Bangladesh.

"As demanded by some of the MPs, I will form the probe committee within two to three days and place the proposal in the House," Hamid told parliament in an unscheduled debate on Sircar, now a BNP candidate for the Bogra-6 constituency in the upcoming by-polls.

"As most of the MPs have talked about the corruption of Muhammad Jamiruddin Sircar by name, the committee will only investigate the alleged corruption of [Sircar]".

All the MPs thanked the speaker by thumbing desks.

BNP MP Abul Khayer Bhuiyan demanded that the activities of all speakers since 1972 be investigated.

Hamid made the announcement as Awami League MP Suranjit Sengupta, Fazle Rabbi Mia, Shajahan Khan and Workers' Party MP Rashed Khan Menon demanded formation of the probe committee on Sircar.

They said he had committed corruption in his seven years in office.

Menon initiated the debate after the scheduled question-answer session. He took floor on a point of order and said the parliament secretariat was in disorder.

"This mess is a legacy of the irregularities going on for the last seven years. What should I say about [Sircar] who I respect much?

"I urge you to form an enquiry committee to investigate the irregularities," he said.

Shajahan Khan said Sircar made compromises with the emergency government and agreed to hand over the NAM flats to cover up his corruption.

He accused the former speaker of corruption in appointing employees, planting grass in fields and beautifying parliament.

Sircar, Hamid said, misused powers of the speaker and misappropriated money from the speaker's medical fund.

"People should know about it," Khan said.

"I demand that you form an all-party probe body to investigate his corruption".

Fazle Rabbi Mia said the parliamentary standing committee chairmen used to get an employee and a personal assistant to run their offices.

The temporary employees were supposed to be appointed by the chairmen according to their choices, not by the parliament secretariat, he said.

"But the MLSS and the PA were appointed by Sircar when the (eighth) parliament expired.

"We have to investigate how the appointments were made.

"I urge you to form a parliamentary inquiry committee to investigate his corruption," he said.

The speaker in his ruling said, "It cannot be that as speaker I will misappropriate, but nobody will talk about it."

"He appointed 42 permanent staff members when parliament expired and even when the state of emergency was enforced. There was no existence of standing committees," said Hamid.

"They were supposed to temporary staff, (but) they have been appointed permanently."

He said the parliament secretariat had been paying them salaries for years without work.


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