False Padma Bridge corruption stories: HC orders to form commission for identifying culprits
The High Court today (June 28, 2022) ordered the government to form a commission in 30 days in order to identify people who made up false stories about corruption involving the Padma Bridge project.
The authorities concerned of the government have been directed to submit a report in this regard to the court in two months after receiving its order.
The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo also set August 28 for passing further order on this issue.
The bench delivered the verdict after hearing arguments on a five-year old suo muto (voluntary) rule over formation of an enquiry commission to identify people who made up false stories about corruption involving the Padma Bridge project.
During hearing on the rule yesterday, the HC bench observed the people who had opposed the Padma Bridge construction are the enemy of the country and nation, and they must be identified.
On February 15, 2017, another HC bench issued the rule asking the government to explain in two weeks why it should not be directed to form an enquiry commission to identify the "culprits who made up false stories" about corruption regarding the Padma Bridge project and why it should not be ordered to bring those behind such stories to justice.
The then HC bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice Mohammad Ullah had issued the rule following media reports citing a Canadian court's decision to acquit all the three accused of corruption conspiracy.
The World Bank, the main financier of the project, raised the allegation in 2011 and eventually withdrew from the project. Later, Canadian police sued some top officials of SNC-Lavalin, a Canadian construction firm.
On Sunday, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) AKM Amin Uddin Manik prayed to the HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo for hearing and disposal of the rule.
Lawyer Abdun Nur Dulal appeared for Bangladesh Bridge Authority while senior lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan argued for the Anti-Corruption Commission during hearing of the rule today.