Why individuals barred from directly filing corruption case? HC asks ACC

Anti-Corruption Commission laws
Without a paradigm shift in our political culture, corruption cannot be controlled. Source: TIB

The High Court today questioned the legality of a section of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) law that curtails individual's right to directly lodge corruption case with the court.

The court issued a rule asking the ACC and the government to explain in 10 days why section 13(3) of the Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Rules-2019 should not be declared "illegal" and scrapped as the section allegedly hampers an individual's right to directly file corruption case with the court.

Secretaries to the ministries of law and home and to the Parliament Secretariat, chairman and secretary of the ACC, and inspector general of police have been made respondents to the rule.

The bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo came up with the rule following a supplementary writ petition jointly filed by Supreme Court lawyers Subir Nandi Das and Noshin Nowal on June 9 this year challenging the legality of the section of the ACC rules.

According to the petition, the ACC on June 20, 2019 issued a gazette notification amending the Anti-Corruption Commission Rules-2007.

In the amended rules, it has been said that an embargo has been imposed on citizen's right to directly lodge a corruption allegation with a court and preconditions have been imposed on the court in accepting such a case for holding its trial.

On December 17, 2019, following the writ petition, the HC had issued another rule asking the ACC and government to explain why the ACC rules that curtail police's authority to directly record corruption cases should not be declared illegal and scrapped.

Today's HC rule was issued in continuation with the previous rule, lawyer Subir Nandi Das told The Daily Star.

Subir Nandi Das himself moved the petition while senior lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan appeared for the ACC and Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state.