New move to protect govt officials

মঙ্গলবার, ১৪ জুলাই ২০১৫

14 July 2015 The government has made a move that seems designed to shield the public servants from criminal cases filed over discharge of their official duties.

It has drafted a law making it mandatory for the law enforcers to seek prior permission from the government for arresting a public servant before the charge sheet is accepted.

Presently, law enforcers can pick up any public staff before the charge sheet is filed.

The cabinet at its weekly meeting yesterday approved the draft of the law, styled “Public Service Act, 2015”. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting, held at her office.

Later, briefing reporters at Bangladesh Secretariat, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said there will be no bar to arresting a public servant if the charge sheet is accepted by a court.

Any investigation agency concerned, including the Anti-Corruption Commission, can probe allegations of criminal offences and file charge sheet against any public servant, the proposed law says.

The new law will not be in conflict with the existing ACC act and there is no ambiguity in it, said Musharraf. “Everything will remain within the framework of the constitution and the existing laws. It's an epoch-making step as the appointment and other activities of the civil servants have been in discussion for a long time.”

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Under the proposed act, the government will form a permanent pay commission and introduce new set of rules for the service of public servants.

The appointment and services of civil servants are now regulated by the rules that were promulgated by the country's presidents at different times.

Musharraf said any previous law contradictory to the proposed act would be inoperative. The new law broadly defined the “persons in the service of the republic”, he added.

The services of the persons holding constitutional posts, staff of the judiciary, Supreme Court employees, armed forces personnel, railway employees, employees of any temporary commission, employees of local government bodies, public university teachers and employees and employees of development projects will remain beyond the purview of the proposed law. Their jobs will be regulated by the laws of the respective organisations.

The cabinet secretary said necessary rules on 10 different issues will be framed for making the law operational. The rules will cover appointment, promotion, seniority, leave, posting, deputation and lien, conduct and discipline, retirement benefits, resignation and retirement of public servants.

No existing employees will be affected due to the changes to service rules, he added. Rather, public servants will be rewarded for any outstanding role in their service.

The draft law will now be sent to the law ministry for vetting. It will be placed before the cabinet again for final approval.

The cabinet also gave nod to the drafts of the National Disaster Management Policy-2015, Army (amendment) Act-2015 and Air Force (amendment) Act-2015.

The meeting gave final approval to the draft of the Nuclear Power Plant Ordinance, 2015. Under the proposed law, a public limited company, Nuclear Power Plant Company Bangladesh Ltd, will be formed for smooth commercial operation of nuclear power plants.

Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh, said the law has been drafted without taking public opinion, like the government did in many other cases.

“Whatever reasons have been given by the authorities to justify the new provisions, they will be discriminatory. No particular section of people can be given special privilege under the proposed law …. It will also be unconstitutional as the constitution guarantees equal rights for all citizens,” he told The Daily Star.

If the law has to be enacted, it should be applicable to all citizens, added Iftekharuzzaman.

He warned that the proposed legislation might promote corruption and abuse of power in public offices.


সর্বশেষ আপডেট বুধবার, ৩০ নভেম্বর -১ ০৬:০০
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