The High Court has warned the Anti-Corruption Commission or ACC of legal action if it fails to complete investigations into the 56 cases over BASIC Bank’s Tk 35 billion loan scam within three months.
The bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat issued a rule on the issue on Tuesday. The HC bench also rejected the bail plea of suspect Mohammad Ali, general manager of BASIC Bank’s Shantinagar branch.
Lawyer SM Abul Hossain, accompanied by lawyer Zobaidur Rahman, represented Ali in court while lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan stood for the ACC. Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state.
The court stated in the rule that the investigation must be completed in three months without failure. The ACC will have to submit the report to the High Court through the Supreme Court registrar after completing the investigation. Legal action will be taken against the anti-graft watchdog if it fails to complete the investigation.
The commission has not faced such a situation before but the investigators have met deadlines in many cases, ACC lawyer Md Khurshid Alam Khan said. “The court did not specify the issue of 56 cases. We are assuming that an order has been given on the matter,” he replied to another question.
The court said much evidence will be destroyed if the investigation is not completed in the stipulated time.
“This is people’s money, it can’t be used in other places except for the well-being of people and the country. It's the bank’s responsibility to protect money. The failure of a bank manager is not a silly thing here,” the court said in the rule.
Between 2009 and 2012, the ACC investigated the allegation of Tk 35 billion in loan irregularities at the Gulshan, Dilkusha and Shantinagar branches of the state-owned bank.
In September 2015, the ACC filed 56 cases with the Gulshan, Paltan and Motijheel police stations after an investigation into the embezzlement.
In these cases, allegations of misappropriation of more than Tk 20 billion were filed against 156 people.
Of the accused, 26 were officials of the bank while the rest were associated with borrowing institutions and audit firms.