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Monday, June 2, 2008
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Arrest warrants against DESA, DESCO chiefs

A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against incumbent managing director (MD) of Dhaka Electricity Supply Company (DESCO) Saleh Ahmed, former Dhaka Electricity Supply Authority (DESA) chairman Towhidul Islam and 13 others in a Desco share scam case.

Judge Mohammad Azizul Haque of the Senior Special Judge's Court passed the order after scrutinising the case docket and other relevant documents.

The court also directed the authorities concerned to send copies of the arrest warrants to respective police stations for implementation and fixed June 4 for next hearing of the case.

The court will order to publish an advertisement in two national dailies asking the appear before the court within three days after receipt of reports on arrest warrants against the fugitives, court sources said.

Detained former power secretary ANH Akhter Hossain, the principal accused in the case, was also charged with the same offences.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Assistant Director Amirul Islam, also the investigation officer (IO) of the case, submitted the charge sheet against Akhter and 15 others to the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court showing 26 people as prosecution witnesses on May 29.

The chargesheeted accused include former chairman of Dhaka Electricity Supply Authority (Desa) Towhidul Islam, ex-joint energy secretary SM Mesbaul Islam, ex-deputy energy secretary Zahidur Rahman, incumbent Deputy Energy Secretary Abdullah Mahmud, Senior Assistant Secretary Laila Jesmin, Deputy Secretary Ismat Ara Jahan, Desco Company Secretary AHM Nurul Huda, ex-assistant energy secretary Ali Hossain, Summit Power Ltd MD Chanchal Krishna Talukder, former Desco directors Khan Lodi Mainul Haq, and Mustafizur Rahman, Desco directors Monzur Rahman and Kudrat-e-Khuda and Desa member Monzur Hossain.

The IO dropped names of former power deputy secretary Nazma Begum and former DESCO director Prof Dr Lutful Kabir from the charge sheet, as their involvement with the corruption was not proved.

The charge sheet was submitted under section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 109 (abetment) of the Bangladesh Penal Code and 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1947.

In the charge sheet, the IO showed 15 accused as fugitives and prayed for issuance of arrest warrants against them and also orders to attach their properties.

ACC Assistant Director Mahbubul Alam filed the case with Shahbagh Police Station against Akhter Hossain and nine others on August 8 last year for committing the offences. Later, involvement of six others including former Desa chairman Towhidul was found in the investigation.

According to the prosecution, there is no provision for the ministry to buy shares in the name of any official. But Akhter, in connivance with the others accused, bought 61,000 shares in their names violating rules and provisions of the ministry.

Moreover, they bought the shares showing lower rates causing a loss of Tk 10.20 crore to the government.

Earlier, Akhter has been convicted in two cases on charges of evading tax, amassing wealth illegally and concealing wealth information.

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