HC stays suspension of telecom dept GM
The High Court yesterday stayed for six months a decision by the Posts and Telecommunications Division to suspend Asaduzzaman Chowdhury, the former acting managing director of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited.
Asaduzzaman had been the managing director (current charge) of BTCL until October 18. On October 22, he was demoted to the post of general manager of the Department of Telecommunications. Then on November 7, he was suspended by the Posts and Telecommunications Division.
On November 8, departmental proceedings were initiated against him on charges of committing irregularities in cancelling tenders for a 5G readiness project.
Asaduzzaman then filed a writ petition with the HC challenging the actions against him.
The HC bench of Justice KM Kamrul Kader and Justice Khizir Hayat Lizu also halted the departmental proceedings against Asaduzzaman.
Asaduzzaman's lawyer Md Shakhawat Hossain told The Daily Star that his client was illegally suspended over cancellation of the tender applications of three disqualified applicants in the 5G project. He also said the HC had earlier issued a rule involving this issue.
The irregularities were detailed in a report run by The Daily Star on November 13 under the headline "Penalised for going by the book".
The report highlighted how Asaduzzaman was thwarted from performing his duties in the tender process for a Tk 463 crore telecom ministry project to get the infrastructure ready for 5G by Abu Hena Morshed Zaman, secretary to the posts and telecommunications division that oversees BTCL.
Documents obtained by The Daily Star show that Asaduzzaman was penalised for following the due process in the tender.
None of the three applicants fully met the technical requirements of the project, so Asaduzzaman did not sign the technical evaluation report, which would have allowed the tender process to move to the next stage. He instead called for a fresh tender.
The report cited Asaduzzaman, who said he followed all public procurement rules at every step when rejecting the technical evaluation committee's report.
A day after the report was published, a show-cause notice was issued to Asaduzzaman by the Posts and Telecommunications Division.
He was given five working days to explain why he would not be charged with "misconduct" under the Employee Discipline and Appeal Rules-2018.
The information disclosed in the said report is "false, motivated and defamatory" to the government and the Department of Posts and Telecommunications, read the notice.