The High Court has sought to know what measures have been taken in the case of embezzlement and irregularities of Tk472 crore by Standard Asiatic Oil Company Ltd (SAOCL), a subsidiary of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
The High Court bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat passed the order on its own initiative on Sunday.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), auditor general and chairman of BPC have been asked to respond to the rule by 20 November.
At the same time, the court issued a ruling seeking explanation as to why the inaction of the authorities to take action against those responsible for irregularities would not be illegal, confirmed ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan.
Senior lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan brought the matter to the attention of the court citing a report published in The Daily Star on 4 November under the title "A BPC concern robs state coffers of Tk472.7cr."
According to the report, due to 21 irregularities of SAOCL, a subsidiary of BPC, the government has been deprived of Tk472 crore 70 lakhs. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) came to know this information after reviewing the documents of SAOCL from 2012-13 to 2019-20 financial year.
SAOCL is a 50-50 joint venture between BPC and Asiatic Industries. The company deals in marketing and distribution of engine oil, vehicle oil, diesel, bitumen, liquefied petroleum gas and furnace oil and supplies jet fuel to aircraft at Cox's Bazar International Airport.
A review of SAOCL's documents revealed irregularities including misappropriation of funds by top officials, higher rates, no overtime payment, missing funds, irregularities in payment of litigation fees and violations of Income Tax Ordinance and VAT rules.