Court throws out plea to charge WASA MD Taqsem with 'embezzlement'

A Dhaka court has sent back a plea to press charges against Taqsem A Khan, the managing director of Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, or WASA, for allegedly embezzling Tk 1.32 billion from the employees' co-operative society.

Published : 23 June 2022, 10:03 AM
Updated : 23 June 2022, 04:35 PM

The society's Secretary Shahab Uddin Sarkar filed the petition with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrates Court of Dhaka on Thursday.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Ashiq Imam said in the order only the Anti-Corruption Commission has the authority to start a case and investigate it if the alleged crime is related to government assets or was carried out by a government employee while performing official duties, according to Munzur Alam, a lawyer for the plaintiff.

"In this circumstance, let the copy of the case be sent back to the complainant as the [court] does not have the authority to take cognisance of these charges and order an investigation,” the order said.

Dhaka WASA Engineer Sharmin Haque Amir, former revenue inspector Mia Md Mizanur Rahman, engineer Md Aktaruzzaman, revenue inspector Md Zakir Hossain, engineer Badrul Alam were accused in the case along with Taqsem, Janata Bank's former deputy general manager Shyamal Biswas, deputy secretary Sheikh Enayet Ullah and deputy chief accounting officer Salekur Rahman.

According to the plaintiff, the Dhaka WASA Employees Multipurpose Cooperative Society received Tk 996.5 million between Jul 16, 2017 and Jun 30, 2018 from the water authority as commission for their revenue collection work. And from 2018 to 2019, the society received Tk 341.8 million for the same work.

Of this, Tk 17.9 million was deposited to the society's account in 2017-2018 fiscal year, he said. Citing the Department of Cooperatives' audit report, the case alleges that the remaining Tk 1.32 billion was embezzled from six banks by various cheques.

The plaintiff further alleges that the accused "stole" assets worth around Tk 2 billion from the society.

Asked about the complaint, Taqsem said, “I don’t know anything about the case. I have no relation to the Dhaka WASA Employees Multipurpose Cooperative Society.”

Taqsem has been the MD of Dhaka WASA since 2009. His term has been extended for a total of six times since his appointment.