Vol. 5 Num 972 Fri. February 23, 2007  
Front Page

Lt Gen (rtd) Mashhud made ACC chief
Gets minister's status; two more commissioners also appointed

Following two weeks of vacuum, the government, as part of its initiative to reconstitute the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC), yesterday appointed former adviser to the caretaker government and army chief Lt General (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury as the chairman of the ACC.

The government also appointed two other commissioners--retired district judge M Habibur Rahman and retired member of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) Abul Hasan Manjur Mannan--to the commission.

The interim government upgraded the status of the ACC chairman from the appellate division judge of the Supreme Court to a minister.

The salaries, financial benefits and status of the new ACC chairman will be equivalent to a minister and each of the two commissioners' equivalent to a judge of the High Court, according to a government notification.

With the new appointments, the government reconstituted and strengthened the ACC in combating corruption, which is on its agenda, before it holds the next general elections.

The ACC sources said the newly appointed chairman and commissioners would join the office next Sunday.

The former ACC chairman Justice Sultan Hossain Khan and two commissioners--Prof Maniruzzaman Miah and Maniruddin Ahmed--resigned from their posts in the second week of February.

The immediate past government had constituted the ACC with the three in November 21, 2004 but they failed to keep the anti-graft watchdog functional.

The government formed a seven-member committee led by Adviser Mainul Hosein, which, in the first week of this month, recommended reconstitution of the ACC to make it a functional body.

Although the immediate past BNP-led alliance government established the ACC as part of their election pledges, it is widely believed by the critics that the then government was never sincere in making the commission functional to fight pervasive corruption.

In the wake of strong criticism on the performance of the ACC, President Iajuddin Ahmed invited the previous chairman and the two commissioners for tea on February 6 and requested them to step down from their posts.

The newly appointed chairman Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury was appointed as the adviser to the caretaker government led by President Iajuddin Ahmed, but he, along with three of his colleagues resigned from the posts saying they were not able to contribute to the process of holding a free and fair election.

They also criticised a number of moves taken by Iajuddin Ahmed as chief adviser.

Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury