The High Court on Sunday issued a rule seeking explanation as to why the inaction of the authorities concerned in taking action against those involved in the irregularities of Tk 472 crore of Standard Asiatic Oil Company, a subsidiary of BPC, should not be declared illegal.
The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat issued the suo moto rule after taking a report, published in an English daily, into congnisance.
The HC also wanted to know what steps have been taken in connection with the embezzlement of the money from the subsidiary of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
It also asked the Auditor General and chairman of BPC to submit a progress report before the court within November 20.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Auditor General and the BPC Chairman have been made respondent s to the rule, said ACC counsel Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan.
On November 4, an English daily published a report headlined ‘A BPC concern robs state coffers of Tk 472.7cr’.
ACC lawyer Khurshid drew the attention of the court in this regard.
According to the report, the government has been deprived of Tk 472.7 crore for 21 counts of irregularities by Standard Asiatic Oil Company, a subsidiary of the Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation, found an audit.
The disclosure comes after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) pored over the company's books from fiscal 2012-13 to 2019-20 and made field visits.
Standard Asiatic Oil Company (SAOCL), which is a 50-50 joint venture between the BPC and the Asiatic Industries, is involved in the blending and marketing of engine oil and lubricating oil for vehicles; the marketing of diesel oil; the marketing and distribution of bitumen, liquefied petroleum gas and furnace oil; and supplying jet fuel to aircraft at Cox's Bazar International Airport, it said.
The anomalies include embezzlement by top officials, high rates, overtime, missing funds, irregularities in payment of litigation fees and violation of the Income Tax Ordinance and VAT Rules, the report added.