ACC committee to check if Trowa case has an element of corruption to merit an investigation
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) said it will review the Trowa Theater case. A formal resolution calling for an ACC investigation into the Trowa Case will be forwarded by the National Council (NC) to the ACC within the next two weeks.
The need for an actual investigation will be decided only after the review of the NC’s formal complaint by the complainant management committee of the ACC.
“Whether the ACC will take the case up will entirely depend on the commission’s decision, meaning that the case will be first reviewed by the commission then only it will be decided,” said an ACC legal officer, who did not want to be named.
According to ACC officials the committee will see if the Trowa theater case has any element of corruption. The element of corruption here would be defined not only with exchange of money but also abuse of power and willful violation of laws to favor certain individuals or groups.
The legal officer of the ACC said the NC resolution will be received as per Section 25 (f) of the ACC Act 2011, where they can review complaints lodged by any person or authority. In the case of Trowa, ACC was accepting the Parliament’s authority.
The legal officer said the ACC followed a normal procedure in accordance to the Chapter 6 of the ACC Act 2011. The case will first go to the complainant management committee which will recommend whether to pursue the case or not.
The next step will be to forward the case to the actual commission, who will then make the final decision, based on the complaint management committee’s recommendations.
In regard to the offence, the legal officer said if it was against the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement (MoWHS) then it was likely to fall under the category of abuse of function.
Trashigang NC and also the Deputy Chairperson, Dr. Sonam Kinga said once a case has been forwarded to the ACC, it has to follow due-process-of verification, acceptance and investigation of the case in compliance with the ACC Act and rules.
Dr. Sonam Kinga said NC was confident that the Trowa case will not only qualify as a policy corruption of which the ACC is very concerned but will also expedite the investigation, “this is because most of the evidence and necessary information are already collected by the Public Accounts Committee”.
The houses of review recommended an early intervention into the ACC’s probe on the case and provide a report before the 10th session of parliament since the issue qualifies as policy corruption based on the findings.
“It will take around two weeks as the House Committee will go through all the resolutions. They will make sure the resolutions are in line with he NC-decision and then on the same day it will be sent to the different agencies like the ACC,” said Gasa NC MP Sangay Khandu.
Earlier the NC had passed a resolution which stated that the Trowa Theater land case qualified as ‘policy corruption’.
It was based on three findings:SS
The first reason was that the MoWHS proposed to sell the land by violating the Land Act 2007 and disregarding a standing resolution of parliament.
The second reason was writing or requesting the owner of Trowa theater to sign the lease agreement without any statement of consequences.
The third was allowing the issue to prolong for more than six years during which the owner was permitted to operate a business entity on government land without collecting any rental dues.
The Bumthang NC MP, Tshewang Jurmi said it was a unanimous decision to put up this recommendation because it was found that this was policy corruption. He said “the ACC should agree to investigate as it is their duty”.
The upper house has asked the ministry to provide an explanation as to why it ignored a standing resolution of parliament.
The NC also called for the government to fix accountability on all responsible officials.
The MoWHS minister, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba declined to comment on the NC’s move.
He however said, “It is good that they (ACC) are doing their job”.