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Wednesday, November 19, 2014, Agrahayan 5, 1421, Muharram 25, 1436 Hijr

Fake FF Certificate
Ministry, ACC mum, four secys remain scot-free 
Mohosinul Karim
Publish Date : 2014-11-19,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 11
Four senior bureaucrats, accused of forgery of freedom fighter certificates, may go scot-free, as neither the Liberation War Affairs Ministry nor the Anti-Corruption Commission have taken any move yet to bring the offenders to book.
Official sources said none of the government entities is willing to process any case against the four bureaucrats.
The Ministry of Public Administration also thought that they had finished their responsibility by issuing gazette notification accepting the prayers of three secretaries and sending another on forced retirement recently. They are not interested to start any departmental proceedings against the former bureaucrats.
The top bureaucrats are former health secretary M Neazuddin Miah, former liberation war affairs secretary KM Masud Siddiqui, former Public Service Commission secretary AKM Amir Hossain and liberation war affairs ministry's former joint secretary Abul Kashem Talukder.
The three secretaries submitted their applications to the public administration ministry to escape  punishment following the ACC recommendation for departmental proceedings against the accused.
Though the anti-graft body is not interested to sue the errant public servants, they want to keep probes going.
ACC Chairman M. Badiuzzaman told the Daily Observer:  "We've recommended to the Liberation War Affairs Ministry to cancel their certificates as we found them guilty, and the ministry did it."
On any possible legal action against the four bureaucrats by the ministry, the ACC official said, "It's up to the ministry concerned."
When asked about any departmental proceedings by the Ministry of Public Administration, Badiuzzaman said, "Usually, no departmental actions are taken against any public servant after their self retirement. They will get self-retirement benefits."
He, however, expressed his determination to continue ACC investigations into the allegations against some public servants who had taken fake certificates to extend their job period.
"We are already investigating the allegations. The Director General of Water Development Board was already summoned to face ACC quiz. The allegation against LGED chief engineer has been revived for further investigation. We will recommend to the authorities concerned to take action against the accused. But the ACC will not file any case against any one," he added.
On such legal action, Liberation War Affairs Secretary MA Hannan also brushed aside the possibility.
 "No cases. Because we cancelled the fake certificates of the bureaucrats in question, as per ACC recommendations," he affirmed, adding that the ACC might sue the offenders, as they were found guilty.
He backtracked on his earlier statement where he said that it was Public Administration Ministry's responsibility to take actions against those officials and the Liberation Affairs Ministry had nothing to do with it.
Despite several attempts, Public Administration Ministry's Senior Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury could not be reached over phone for his remarks.
Earlier on October 13, this ministry served show-cause notices on Neazuddin, Masud Siddiqui, Amir Hossain and Abul Kashem Talukder to explain about obtaining their freedom fighter certificates by giving false information and why departmental proceedings should not be initiated against them for their 'misconduct'.
The Liberation War Affairs Ministry on September 22 cancelled the FF certificates of all the four officials through a gazette notification following the ACC recommendations.
UNB adds: Responding to a media report alleging that 16 high officials, including secretaries, have had fake freedom fighter certificates, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque on Tuesday said the government will investigate the matter and take necessary steps if the allegations are found correct.
 "The allegations of forging freedom fighter certificates raised in a newspaper report against the secretaries have come to our notice. Steps will be taken if the allegations against them are proved," he told reporters at his ministry.
 Vernacular national daily Prothom Alo today (Tuesday) carried a report claiming that at least 16 high officials, including secretaries, who did not asserted themselves as freedom fighters during their entry into the civil services have later acquired freedom fighter certificates.
 The report also claimed that many of the high officials with presumably fake certificates are trying to use those to avail themselves of various benefits.
 The Minister said they will scrutinise whether any of the officials used fake freedom fighter certificate to extend their terms of employment or take any other advantages.
 Earlier on November 6, Health Secretary M Neazuddin Miah and Public Service Commission Secretary AKM Amir Hossain, who had got their jobs extended with fake freedom fighter certificates, went on voluntary retirement.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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