Chair of Parliament’s Independent Institutions Committee, Addu Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam, on Monday, voiced displeasure at Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), after statistics shared by the corruption watchdog revealed many cases have remained pending for over 1,000 days.
ACC members were summoned for a meeting with the Independent Institutions Committee on Monday afternoon, during which they presented statistics on the progress and clearance rate of cases lodged with the commission.
Following the presentation, Rozaina voiced concern the backlog of cases, including major cases lodged with the commission years back.
“There also looks to be cases involving employment. I find 1,071 days to be a long time. There are procurement related cases which have been pending for 949 days. 1,531 days for cases involving housing. 1,794 days for cases involving lease of lands and islands. I therefore wonder what exactly your plan is in order to complete these old cases,” she said.
Rozaina said that the failure of ACC in investigating cases involving billions in losses to the State means the commission has failed in investigating its most important cases.
She also noted that only three cases investigated by ACC have been forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s Office for criminal charges.
ACC’s President Mariyam Shiuna responded that the members shared the concern over cases which have remained pending for four to five years. She said the ACC reorders cases and works on them based on priority every three months.
“The truth is, the results of our work with prioritizing cases [will become evident] in the coming month. And the rate of prosecution is also higher than before,” she said.
Shiuna said the ACC has mobilized special teams for its investigations which are of great public interest.
Rozaina said that while the ACC has stated that investigations have been made speedier since the appointment of new members, the commission still needs to prioritize cases of great public interest.
“And even during your term, we want you to expedite big million rufiya embezzlement cases rather than ‘coffee packet’ cases. Even though it may be an old case,” she said.
Shiuna said the ACC has established guidelines for prioritizing investigations.