TIB and Reporters Against Corruption (RAC) in a joint statement on 21 November expressed their despondency and condemned President’s consent to Anti Corruption Commission (Amendment) Bill-2013 that makes mandatory provision of seeking government’s approval to file corruption cases against the judges, magistrates and civil servants. The President on 19 November mid-night signed this much debated bill. Legal and constitutional experts, conscious citizens, media and civil society have long been demanding to scrap this provision.
TIB has long been advocating for an independent, impartial institution and effective ACC. Immediate after passing the bill at the National Parliament, TIB in a press statement on 11 November condemned this ill motivated move of the government. TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman termed this move as matter of great disappointment, suicidal and hypocritical. Later on 19 November, TIB forwarded a petition to the president and appealed for not assenting to amendment and send it back to the parliament for review.
The amended ACC Act is anti-constitutional as it offered special and differential treatment of public servants and curtailed ACC power in fighting corruption. TIB fears that this evil move of a group within the government will promote the culture of impunity and further spread corruption. However, TIB will continue its advocacy in making the ACC independent, effective and impartial.