Former health minister AFM Ruhal Haque yesterday claimed that his wife's account balance was mistakenly mentioned as Tk 7.53 crore instead of Tk 45.17 lakh in his wealth statement submitted to the Election Commission last year.
He was talking to reporters at the Anti-Corruption Commission's Segunbagicha headquarters in the capital after the graft watchdog grilled him over amassing wealth illegally in last five years.
“I've applied to the EC through an affidavit seeking correction of the error in my wife's wealth statement. The EC has accepted the application,” he added.
Contradicting Ruhal's claim, Election Commissioner Abdul Mobarak said it is not possible for the EC to make corrections in someone's wealth statement upon receipt of an affidavit.
Citing an example, he said if an SSC examinee makes a mistake in an answer script and later writes to the board chairman for correcting the mistake, it would be meaningless.
Following newspaper reports on the astonishing increase of wealth of Ruhal's wife, the former minister applied to the EC in the second week of last month seeking correction in his wife's wealth statement.
According to the wealth statement submitted to the EC in 2008, Ruhal's wife had property worth around Tk 97 lakh, which has increased to around Tk 7.53 crore in last five years.
Ruhal had property worth Tk 4.99 crore, which has soared to around Tk9 crore during the same period.
The ACC on January 22 launched preliminary probes into corruption allegations against three former ministers, two former and two incumbent lawmakers of Awami League, including Ruhal.
The graft watchdog has already quizzed AL lawmaker (Cox's Bazar-4) Abdur Rahman Bodi and former state minister for water resources Mahbubur Rahman on the same allegation.
Talking to The Daily Star, former election commissioner M Sakhawat Hussain said, “Affidavits are considered as legal documents of different sorts of information of the candidates. Once submitted to the EC, the commission doesn't have any jurisdiction to receive any revised copy of it.”
Besides, candidature of a lawmaker aspirant can be cancelled if he gives false information in affidavits as per the Representation of People Order (RPO) and it will be considered as a punishable offence under section 181 of Bangladesh Penal Code, he added.