The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday sued former Dhaka mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka and seven officials of undivided Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) for allocating shops of a DCC market through forgery.
Apart from Khoka, also a vice chairman of the BNP, surveyors Motaleb Hossain, Faruque Hossain, Bachchu Mia, kanungo Mohammad Ali, former estate officer Sahabuddin Sabu, estate officer Mohsin Uddin Mural and former chief estate officer Mashier Rahman were sued in the case lodged with Shahbagh Police Station by ACC Assistant Director Mahbubul Alam.
Mashier Rahman is currently serving as a director of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority.
The case was filed under ACC Act 2004. If found guilty, the accused could face up to 10 years' imprisonment, fine of unlimited amount and confiscation of their properties.
According to the case statement, Khoka allowed erection and allocation of over a hundred shops occupying parking lots and open spaces on the first, the second, the third and the fourth floors of Dhaka Trade Center -- owned by the city corporation -- in Gulistan in the capital between September 2009 and April 2010.
According to Local Government Act 2009, the DCC can acquire or handover any property through sale, mortgage, lease-out or exchange only upon the government's permission, the case statement mentioned.
Apart from these, the ACC also found evidence that Khoka along with the other accused tampered the note-sheet of relevant documents of then unified DCC to allocate the shops.
The parking lots were meant to be used for parking vehicles and open spaces were a must for sufficient ventilation inside the market which are fundamental rights of the leaseholders of shops and customers, the ACC observed.
Quoting Local Government (City Corporation) Act-2009, a top ACC official said there can be no temporary allocation of shops in a permanent DCC market like Dhaka Trade Center.
Besides, the accused also committed irregularities in determining the monthly rent of the shops. The accused could not say on what basis the rent was fixed, he added.
The probe found that initially Mohammad Ali in the shop allocation file mentioned Tk 10 as rent for each square foot which later Khoka unilaterally increased to Tk 15.