The High Court on Monday came down heavily on the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for its slow move in submitting charge sheets in bank scam cases.
"Banks are being emptied out, will we just stand and watch it?" the HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat asked the corruption watchdog during a hearing on the bail plea of Mohammad Ali who is accused in 12 cases over BASIC Bank scam.
The bench also expressed its outrage towards the commission for its failure in completing the investigation in all the 61 cases over Tk4,500 crore embezzlement of BASIC Bank.
Later, the court fixed Tuesday to hear the arguments of the ACC side and give a verdict on the matter.
During the hearing, Mohammad Ali's lawyer SM Abul Hossain said, "Even after five years, the ACC is not issuing a charge sheet in this case. The trial is also not progressing. My client worked only as a clerk at the bank. The ACC could not even specify what his crime was."
At this time, the senior judge of the bench said, "Judges, lawyers and millions of eyes are observing, but no one is doing anything. Why is everyone silent? Banks are being emptied out, shall we just watch and do nothing!"
On the day, the Anti-Corruption Commission submitted a letter to the High Court informing that they have sent a request to Malaysia seeking evidence in the BASIC Bank embezzlement of Tk2,770 crores.
A total of 4,500 crore was laundered from BASIC Bank through loan forgeries between 2009 and 2013.
In 2015, the ACC filed 61 cases regarding the loan scam. Investigations into none of the cases have yet been completed.
Overall, The commission has so far lodged 245 cases over different bank scams involving Tk11,000 crore since 2012 but provided charge sheets in only 40 cases, including 12 on the Hallmark-Sonali Bank scam, according to ACC officials.
The trial of the 12 cases is yet to complete, they said.
Meanwhile, regarding BASIC Bank, ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told The Business standard that the commission is trying to recover the embezzled money and continuing the investigation at the same time, which is the reason behind the delay in submitting the charge sheets.
"The ACC is trying to trace where the money has been laundered. If it is not possible to find out where and how the money was transferred, the investigation will remain incomplete," he added.