Sircar drew Tk 28 lakh illegally, finds JS probe | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 13, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 13, 2009

Anomalies in Medical Bill

Sircar drew Tk 28 lakh illegally, finds JS probe


A parliamentary probe body has found that immediate past speaker Jamiruddin Sircar "illegally" drew Tk 27.86 lakh as medical bill.
"After examining documents, the committee finds that Sircar unlawfully drew the amount of money," advocate Fazle Rabbi Mia told reporters yesterday after a meeting of the probe committee at the parliament building.
"The probe body revealed that violating the law, the then speaker Jamiruddin Sircar drew Tk 27.86 lakh as medical bill without the then prime minister Khaleda Zia's consent and ignoring her opinion," Rabbi added.
Being refused twice by the chief of the government, Jamiruddin Sircar misused his power and committed financial anomalies, giving an undertaking, he said.
"In my good faith and proper understanding of law, I am drawing this amount of money and I will send it back if any question raises centring the money and if the Supreme Court gave order," the probe body chief Rabbi said about how Sircar had drawn the money after the then prime minister refused to approve it.
"In the note, Sircar admitted that the then prime minister Khaleda Zia refused two times and did not approve his medical bill," Fazle Rabbi said.
"It's really unfortunate how Sircar gave an undertaking and received money giving a wrong interpretation of law," Rabbi added.
The all-party parliamentary committee to probe widespread allegations of financial anomalies and waste of public money against Jamiruddin Sircar decided to summon him and to give him opportunity of self-defence.
Opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abdin Farroque, the lone member in the committee from BNP, boycotted the meeting alleging that the probe body will not be able to investigate the matter impartially and fairly.
The committee found that the former speaker drew Tk 27.86 lakh giving a wrong interpretation of the law after being refused by the then prime minister Khaleda Zia two times to get approval of his medial bill.
Rabbi said the then prime minister was right by not approving Sircar's medical bill. "If the medical bill of any executive official or minister or speaker crossed the fixed limit, then it requires approval of the head of the government."
Fazle Rabbi said the note under which the former speaker drew Tk 27.86 lakh goes against him as Sircar himself admitted that the then prime minister refused to approve his medical bill on two occasions.
He said that the speaker and deputy speaker of parliament jointly can spend about Tk 2.5 lakh as medical purpose in a year.
The probe body found that Sircar had drawn Tk 1.5 lakh in 2001-02, Tk 58,000 in 2002-03, Tk 10.81 lakh in 2003-04, Tk 22,000 in 2004-05, Tk 85,000 in 2005-06 and Tk 27.86 lakh in 2006-07 as medical bill.
Rabbi said they would summon the former speaker after examining other allegations against Sircar.
"We will of course give him the opportunity of self-defence and if Sircar wants he will be allowed a hearing (before the committee)," said the committee chief.
Speaker Abdul Hamid on March 19 constituted the all-party parliamentary body, first time in the parliamentary history of Bangladesh, to probe widespread allegation of financial anomalies, misuse of power and waste of public money against the immediate past speaker.
The committee was also assigned to investigate any other allegation of corruption occurred in the Parliament Secretariat during the seven-year tenure of Sircar.
Abdul Hamid also said the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) would soon send a special team to audit the expenditures of the Parliament Secretariat since 1972.

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