The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has filed a case against nine people including four journalists, accusing them of evading tax, fraudulently constructing and allotting plots in government land reserved for cemeteries and mosquesin the Sher Shah Journalist Housing area in Chattogram.
Md Abu Saeed, assistant director at ACC Integrated District Office, Chattogram - 1, filed the case under Section 409/418/465/467/468/471/474/ and 109 of the Penal Code on 25 November.
The accused in the case are: Mahbubul Alam, former president of Chattogram Journalists Co-operative Housing Society; Nizam Uddin Ahmed, former secretary of the society, his wife HosneAra; Shahid Ul Alam, former treasurer, and his wife Taslima Khanam; Nirmal Chandra Das, former joint secretary, and his wife Tapati Das; and plot buyers Md Selim and Humaira Wadud.
Earlier, on 24 November, Md Anwarul Haque, deputy director of Investigation and Enquiry-5 at the ACC head office directed the deputy director of the ACC Chattogram office, to file a case against the accused.
In 1982, the then president leased 16 acres of land in the West Sholashahar for a nominal price to the Chattogram Journalists Co-operative Housing Society to build a housing project for journalists deprived of housing in Chattogram.
Later, the work of constructing housing system started there. In 1992, the Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) approved the design of 109 plots.
According to the case statement, during the tenure of Chattogram Journalists Co-operative Housing Society in 1995, the then president Mahbubal Alam, secretary Nizam Uddin Ahmed, treasurer Shahid Ul Alam and joint secretary Nirmal Chandra Das collectively forged CDA designs in places reserved for cemeteries and mosques.
They created three plots - 111, 112,113. Then, secretly they allotted the plots in the name of their wives.
Nizam Uddin took allotment of a plot in the name of his wife Hosne Ara, Shahid Ul Alam took for his wife Taslima Khanam, and Nirmal Chandra Das took plot for his wife Tapati Das.
When the matter was exposed, the then leader of the association Kazi Zafrul Islam Chowdhury lodged a complaint with the CDA. The CDA informed that the design has been forged.
Under this context, the District Cooperative Office investigated the matter and unveiled the issue of land fraud. Then, it canceled the allotment of three plots and also expelled the accused.
The case statement also read that the then officers of the association were allotted plots of 5 kathas from the Shershah journalist housing area of Chattogram Journalist Co-operative Housing Society as per the rules.
Subsequently, the government land was illegally allotted to the accused at the meeting of the association's management committee on 23 November 1995.
The annual general meeting of the association in 2017 decided to recover three illegally allotted plots and file a case against the accused under the civil and criminal law.
So, the association issued a notification in newspaper on 17 April 2018 requesting the accused to return the illegally allotted plots.
However, the Chattogram Journalist Co-operative Housing Society filed a case at the Chattogram Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court for not returning the plots, which were created through forgery.
The court directed the ACC to investigate the matter. After receiving the court order, the ACC started its enquiry.
The ACC filed the case on 25 November after finding evidence of illegal activities including changing the CDA-approved design in the Shershah Journalist Housing Area of Chattogram Journalists Co-operative Housing Society, illegal plot allotments and tax evasion.