Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haq today said in parliament that his ministry will take action against five high-ranking government officials after examining the Anti-Corruption Commission’s probe report regarding their fake freedom fighter certificates.
“The ministry is examining the probe report after getting it last [Wednesday] evening. I want to assure the House and the countrymen that we will cancel the certificates of those government officials without considering their status if they have obtained the certificates showing forged documents,” he said in reply to lawmakers’ queries.
Expressing limitations of his ministry, Haq said, “We can only cancel their certificates.”
“The ministry cannot take legal actions against those government officials,” he said, adding that it is the public administration ministry that can take administrative and legal action against them.
According to the ACC probe report submitted to the liberation war affairs ministry, the then state minister for liberation war affairs AB Tajul Islam abused his power to illegally issue freedom fighters certificates to five government officials last year.
Irregularities were rife in the process and Tajul issued the certificates using his unilateral power, bypassing the relevant law and the Jatiya Muktijoddha Council, commission sources said.
Under the law, the ministry cannot issue any freedom fighter certificate without the recommendation of the council. Doing so is a violation of the Muktijoddha Council Act-2002.
The anti-graft body, which was investigating the five, including three incumbent secretaries, sent its report to the ministry on September 8.
The commission recommended revoking their certificates as they had resorted to forgery to obtain those.
The five are Privatisation Commission Chairman and former PMO secretary Mollah Waheeduzzaman, Health Secretary Niaz Uddin Mia, Public Service Commission Secretary AKM Amir Hossain, former liberation war affairs secretary KH Masud Siddiqui (now an OSD) and Joint Secretary of Liberation War Affairs ministry Abul Kashem Talukder (now an OSD).