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Thursday, June 13, 2019 11:47:01 PM
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ACC miserably failed to meet people's expectation

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14th-Jun-2019       
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PRIME MINISTER Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday told Parliament that the public perception about many of the Anti-Corruption Commission employees being involved in corruption was not totally baseless. Responding to a supplementary question from ruling Awami League lawmaker Rafiqul Islam, leader of the House said that all the employees of the ACC did not have a clean chit and none could guarantee that all were 100 per cent honest. The PM said that her government had a special plan to bring down corruption gradually to zero level by strengthening the ACC.
She viewed that there was no need to form a separate agency comprising manpower from different elite forces as the Commission received assistance from any government agency whenever the anti-graft body sought it. Mentioning that the ACC was an independent and autonomous body, the PM said that the Commission explored and investigated any corruption allegation neutrally. She stated that because of the activities of the ACC corruption in governmental offices was gradually decreasing.
We don't know by how much, if at all, a decrease in the levels of corruption has occurred in the government offices. As recently as 2018 the ACC Chief stated that corruption was taking place on a massive scale in the nation but they and other stakeholders had failed to solve it.
The nation has high expectations of the ACC. It should act without fear or favour --- punishing the guilty while sparing the innocent. People should be targeted who in fact have committed financial crimes without regard to the political party to which they belonged or without regard to their being a public official. For it to be truly independent it has to be unshackled-but the reverse is the case.
It can't file charges against public officials without government clearance and may file cases against opposition politicians on the behest of the government in power. All of this does not make for a truly effective ACC. It should not be a paper tiger in some cases while being a fiery dragon in others---all must be equal before it. For its functioning neutrally it must be completely set free of any and all strings but the chances of this happening is unlikely.


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