Cabinet Division, foreign ministry permission must for govt officials’ foreign trip: HC

M Moneruzzaman | Published: 00:45, Dec 18,2020


The High Court said on Thursday that any government employee from then on must seek permission of the cabinet division and the finance ministry in addition to the permission of the employee’s own ministry for any foreign trip to ensure that the public money which is spent for the trip was not wasted.

Government employees or officers usually take permission of their concerned ministry for foreign trips.

‘Government officers below the rank of joint secretary require additional permission of the Cabinet division and the finance ministry and they have to report the outcome of their trips to the cabinet division and the finance division,’ deputy attorney general SK Shaifuzzaman confirmed the New Age quoting the judgement.

He said that the visiting team must concentrate on the purpose of the tour without taking it as a leisure trip. 

The online bench of Justice Zubayer Rahman Chowdhury and Justice Kazi Zinat Hoque came up with the observation after rejecting a writ petition filed by Jonny Corporation, a fog lights importer, in 2016, said Shaifuzzaman.

He added that the writ petition challenged the legality of the confiscation of the contractor’s bank security money of Tk 28 lakh by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation on the ground that the contractor had imported and supplied 10 ineffective fog lights for the corporation ferries from the USA in 2016.

Shaifuzzaman said that the BIWTC confiscated the contractor’s security money after finding that the supplier received a payment of Tk 6 crore for supplying 7,000 watt high power fog lights.

But later it was revealed that the lights were not more effective than 3,000W lights that are usually used in ferries, he added.

He said that the BIWTC also found in an investigation that government officials — one from the BIWTC, three from the shipping ministry and the managing director of the the supplier company Jonny Corporation — visited the United State of America during summer instead of winter and that is why the effectiveness of the fog lights could not be tested properly.

Saifur Rashid appeared for BIWTC and the government was assisted by the deputy attorney general Shaifuzzaman and assistant attorney general Abantee Nurul.

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