The High Court yesterday wanted to know the progress for implementation of the 25 recommendations made by the Anti-Corruption Commission to prevent corruptions and irregularities in the health sector.
In response to a writ petition, the court asked the two secretaries to the health ministry and director general (DG) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to submit a report before it in 60 days stating whether any step has been taken to implement the recommendations and describing the steps if they are taken.
It also issued a rule asking the respondents to explain in four weeks why their inaction to implement the ACC's recommendations should not be declared illegal.
ACC chairman, secretaries to the health ministry and DG of DGHS and other officials concerned have been made respondents to the rule, writ petitioners' lawyer Jamiul Hoque Faisal told The Daily Star.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman came up with the order and rule following the writ petition jointly filed by Supreme Court lawyers Ishrat Hasan and Aminur Rahman Chowdhury on September 27 seeking necessary directives on this issue.
During yesterday's hearing, lawyer Jamiul Hoque Faisal told the HC that unbridled corruption would not take place in the health sector had the health ministry followed ACC's recommendations.
The ACC in January last year sent a report to the health ministry identifying the sources of graft in the health sector, setting off alarm bells.
One of the findings was that corruption takes place during the purchase of medicines, surgical equipment and other machines due to absence of proper government monitoring. An alleged nexus of contractors and officials from different organisations under the ministry buys many "inessential machines and equipment to misappropriate money," said the report.
In the report, the ACC also mentioned 25 recommendations including involving expert agency members in purchasing products, formulating a guideline for transferring officials and staff members and increasing the tenure of internship from one year to two years in order to prevent graft and other corrupt practices in the health sector.