DHAKA: Dhaka’s Mayor Sadek Hossain Khoka, also Vice-chairman of the main opposition BNP, is going to be removed from his position and replaced by a government-appointed administrator, competent sources said.
The government is considering the removal of Khoka following a corruption case filed against him by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) a few days back.
On June 29, ACC Director Harun-or-Rashid filed the case with Shahbagh police station on charge of irregularities in some appointments for Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) jobs.
The sources among government policymakers said there is no major bar now to appointing an administrator following the ACC case against the City father, who, as a matter of fact, has outlasted his tenure for delays in holding elections.
As per existing laws, Khoka will not be able to contest the DCC election again if removed.
The Local Government (City Corporation) Law 2009, 2nd clause 13(1) sub-section ‘Kha’ stipulates that the mayor or councilor be removed if punished by court for deviance of disciplines. Sub-section ‘Gha’ specifies the scope of the law on this score: if they are found guilty of misconduct or misuse of power.
The explanation of the sub-section says ‘misconduct’ explains misuse of power, activities beyond the rules and regulations, corruption, taking personal benefits through corruption and illegal means, partisanship, nepotism, misrule, not submitting election expenditures or giving wrong information.
And the sub-section (2) stipulates that the authority specified by rules may remove the mayor or councilor through government gazette in line with the described reasons.
The subsection (3) allows the accused to get the opportunity of self-defense and let investigation be made before any final decision on removal.
Sub-section (6) stipulates whatever there be in other section of the law, the person removed will not be fit for election for the rest of the term.
In the case, Dhaka City Mayor Khoka and 13 other officers have been accused of appointing 49 employees on a single day “misusing power and through corruption” in 2006. The ACC investigated into the charge and filed the case as they got prima facie proof, the sources said.
The Local Government Ministry high-ups said the order has been issued from top level of the government to the concerned to review the law and the relevant articles of the law enacted in 2009.
ACC sources said the DCC published a vacancy notice for appointing tax officer on January 11, 2004. After three years of publication of the notice, written examinations of the applicants took place on October 13, 2006 and viva-voce examination took place on October 18.
A single day saw the issuance of appointment letters, appointment, meeting of the selection committee, and completion of viva-voce examinations.
It was shown in the DCC register that the people took appointment letters by hand and joined their jobs the same day.
Against this backdrop, the deputy tax officers, who were deprived of promotions, were irked and went to the High Court on October 19. The Court stayed the appointments.
The DCC register showed completion of appointment process on October 18. Since there was no blank space on pages on October 18 and 19, another register was opened.
Though the appointment process was shown complete on a single day, the copies of the appointments reached different sections of DCC on December 26, 2006, after two months and eight days.
Those who got appointments included Atahar Ali Khan, APS to the then Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, Mohammad Sami Foysal, son of ward commissioner and city BNP leader ATM Mostafa Badsha, ASM Hasanuzzaman, son of ward commissioner and BNP leader and former deputy mayor of DCC Shamsuzzaman Minto, Mohammad Khaled Saifullah, son of Mohammad Amanullah, former president of City and Poura Karmachari Federation, and Mohammad Mizanur Rahman, son of city BNP leader Mojibur Rahman.
When contacted, two top officials of the Local Government Division declined to comment on the issue. One of them, however, said they have taken necessary steps to collect all documents of the case.
BDST 1947 HRS, JULY 2, 2010.