The verdict was delivered on a revision petition filed by the ACC
The government can neither withdraw any corruption case filed and moved by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), nor can it recommend a withdrawal of such cases, the High Court in a full text verdict has observed.
The court said the law had authorized the commission only to withdraw a case and the government had nothing to do in such matters. Such an endeavour on the part of the government could be regarded as naked interference in the affairs of an independent body like the commission.
The observation was made by the High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman in the verdict delivered on a revision petition filed by the ACC. The short verdict was delivered on December 10, 2020.
The revision petition was filed challenging a Sylhet court order that granted a government application of withdrawing corruption charges against a local union parishad chairman of Taherpur upazila in Sunamganj.
On April 5, 2007, Taherpur police lodged a case implicating the then Borodal Uttar Union Parishad Chairman Md Abdul Kashem on the charge of misappropriating CI sheets (Corrugated Iron Sheet) allotted for a relief fund from the Upazila Parishad for distributing among the poor people.
The case was investigated by the ACC and the charge-sheet was submitted against four persons under Sections 409/420/109 of the Penal Code, Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947.
Eventually, charges were framed at the court of the Senior Special Judge in Sylhet in October, 2009. The case was transferred to the Court of the Divisional Special Judge, Sylhet for trial.
But the Special Public Prosecutor in August next year filed an application for a withdrawal of the case. In January 2012, the court allowed the application for a withdrawal of the case and discharged the accused persons from the charges brought against them.
The ACC then moved the HC with a revision petition against the lower court order.
The High Court, after completing legal proceedings, came up with the verdict directing the Divisional Special Judge, Sylhet, to proceed with the case in accordance with law.
It also asked four accused in the case to surrender before the trial court within four weeks of receiving the HC judgment.
The HC in its judgment said that if the government wanted to withdraw a case pending before the Court of the Special Judge, it could only make a request or express its wish to the ACC and if the government made such a request, the commission was free to decide whether or not it would consider such a request or proposal of the government.