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Bangladesh parliament to sue ex-speaker, two officials

world Updated: Oct 14, 2009 12:34 IST

The Bangladesh parliament has decided to sue its former speaker and two senior officials for alleged misappropriation of funds.

The Jatiya Sangsad (national assembly) passed a unanimous resolution Tuesday to recover Taka 25 million ($389,049) from former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, his deputy Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui, and former chief whip Khandaker Delwar Hossain.

They reportedly drew the amounts as medical bills, additional fuel allowances, and other expenses during the tenure of the last parliament (2001-06).

While Sircar is presently an opposition lawmaker belonging to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, Hossain is the party's secretary general.

The house also unanimously passed a resolution to refer the charges, probed earlier by a a parliamentary committee and found to be prima facie true, to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) for further investigation.

The resolution also decided "to inform the whole nation about the alleged irregularities committed by the trio", The Daily Star newspaper said Wednesday.

It, however, rejected a recommendation for scrapping Sircar's membership in the parliament as Speaker Abdul Hamid said it would be "too harsh an action".

"There is no clear provision for scrapping memberships on charges of corruption and irregularities, although the probe body and some lawmakers mentioned instances of cancellation of memberships in the parliaments of the UK, Canada and India on similar charges," Hamid said.

The house also decided to cancel the appointments of all parliament secretariat staff who were appointed by Sircar, allegedly ignoring the constitution and relevant rules, and decided to cancel allocations of houses to parliament secretariat staff on grounds of rule violation.

Lawmakers of the main opposition BNP were not present in the house during the discussion, as they are boycotting the parliament since June.