FF CERTIFICATE FORGERY All 4 bureaucrats go unpunished

The government has let all the four senior bureaucrats to go without any departmental actions against them although they were found guilty of using fake documents in obtaining freedom fighters’ certificates. ‘We have dropped the move for departmental proceedings initiated earlier against the two secretaries as they opted to retire from service. The government, has, on the other hand, retired a joint secretary on the same ground,’ public administration ministry’s senior secretary Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury told New Age on Wednesday. Md Neazuddin Miah and AKM Amir Hossain on November 6 opted to retire from service respectively as health secretary and Public Service Commission secretary and thus escaped departmental proceedings initiated against them for ‘gross misconduct’. The government on the same day retired from service joint secretary (officer on special duty) Abul Kashem Talukder as he completed 25 years of service like the two others. Kamal Abdul Naser said the departmental actions could not be taken against anyone already out of the service. ‘We have such directives from the High Court also.’ Among the four, former liberation war affairs secretary KM Masud Siddiqui went on post retirement leave on October 31 as an influential quarter was actively lobbying the administration so that no actions were taken against these officials, known as loyal to the ruling party. Neazuddin and Amir Hossain submitted their applications for optional retirement under the Public Servants (Retirement) Act, 1974 that says a public servant may opt to retire from service any time after he has completed 25 years of service by giving notice in writing to the appointing authority. The government may, if it considers necessary in the public interest so to do, retire from service a public servant at any time after he has completed 25 years of service without assigning any reason, according to the law. The liberation war affairs ministry on September 22 cancelled the FF certificates of all the four officials through a gazette notification. The public administration ministry’s secretary said none of them had benefited from the FF certificates in service, adding that losing job was the maximum punishment in departmental proceedings. The whole process for departmental action was delayed to let all the four officers go unpunished, an officer alleged. Earlier on October 13, the public administration ministry served show-cause notices on Neazuddin, KM Masud Siddiqui, Amir Hossain and former liberation war affairs ministry joint secretary Abul Kashem Talukder to explain about obtaining their freedom fighter certificates and why departmental proceedings should not be initiated against them for their ‘misconduct’. All four senior bureaucrats, who were found culpable of using false freedom fighter certificates for service benefits, had pleaded innocence in obtaining the documents. Asked whether criminal cases would be filed against these officers for resorting to forgery, liberation war affairs minister AKM Mozammel Huq said his ministry would now examine legal options. He, earlier, said it was the responsibility of the public administration ministry to take actions against these officials and the liberation affairs ministry had nothing more to do. The Anti-Corruption Commission and the liberation war affairs ministry earlier recommended legal actions for misconduct against the officials which could lead to their losing jobs and facing legal action for committing a criminal offence, officials said. The ACC investigations found these officials had ‘managed’ freedom fighter certificates after the government extended the retirement age of freedom fighters working in the public service. In November 2012, the government extended the retirement age of freedom fighters from 59 years to 60. Earlier in April 2010, their retirement age was extended by two years from 57. Many government employees including senior officials resorted to forgery to manage the FF certificates to get service benefits and enjoy the status of a freedom fighter, which also brings privileges to their offspring.

Source: Newage