Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed deep concern over the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) irresponsibility that resulted in wrongful conviction of jute worker Jahalam.
In a press statement issued on Sunday, the TIB demanded that Jahalam be given compensation, and that those responsible for his situation be held responsible.
A TIB probe committee found that Jahalam had to spent three years behind bars without committing any crime as he was wrongly accused in 26 cases filed by the ACC.
Media reports said the ACC investigation into Jahalam’s case ordered by the High Court had revealed faults in different stages of probe, negligence of officials concerned and lack of coordination with other organisations.
The TIB said the only positive side of ACC’s internal investigation committee was the right role played by the investigation officer.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said in the press note: “The ACC report identifying internal faults into Jahalam’s investigation is, on one hand, the reflection of people’s expectations. But on the other hand, it is a matter of grave concern.”
He said the report indicated ACC’s huge shortcomings in ensuring transparency and accountability in the anti-graft watchdog’s internal control system and in exercising zero tolerance against corruption.
The TIB official said the unearthing of negligence by a section of ACC officers and lack of coordination with other organisations was known to all as a long-standing problem.
The TIB hoped that the findings would inspire the ACC to carry out purge, if necessary, to prevent such negligence and injustice in the future.
Iftekharuzzaman said real compensation for Jahalam was not possible, but the ACC report had created a scope for reaching a hopeful solution to how innocent Jahalam could be compensated.
He said Jahalam would not have gone through such ordeals if the parties involved in the case discharged its responsibility properly.
“There is no alternative to exemplary and accountable steps against the persons responsible,” he added.