A parliamentary body today recommended that the authorities scrap registration of Transparency International’s Bangladesh chapter for making what it termed “derogatory comments about the parliament”.
The parliamentary standing committee on law came up with the recommendation during a meeting at the parliament building this morning.
Saying that it asked Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) three days “to apologise before the nation for its derogatory comments on the parliament and the constitution”, Suranjit Sengupta, chief of the committee, added: “They did not do so within the deadline out of arrogance.”
“Therefore, we had no alternative to making the recommendation [to scrap registration].”
During a briefing at the Jatiya Sangsad Media Centre after today’s meeting, Suranjit said the committee also recommended incorporating a provision to scrap registration of any NGO if it makes any indecent comment on the country, parliament and the constitution in the Foreign Donations (Voluntary Activities) Regulation Act.
The bill is likely to be passed in the parliament during the ongoing session which is scheduled to prorogue on November 23.
Contacted, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman told The Daily Star over phone that they are embarrassed at the decision.
The TIB will come up with its reply after receiving formal documents in this regard, he added.
On October 25, the TIB in a study said lawmakers' participation in question-answer sessions and discussions on important notices was less in the current parliament.
And only six percent of 388 working hours had been spent on formulation and passage of 30 laws in 14 months, said the study based on the current parliament's second to sixth session from June 2014 to July this year.
It also said the main opposition, the Jatiya Party, failed to play its due role in the present parliament. Terming the JP a so-called opposition, the TIB said the party was working as “B-team of the government”.
Talking to reporters on the same day, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman termed the present parliament “a puppet theatre”.
Later on November 9, speaking on a point of order in the House, Suranjit insisted that the TIB apologised to the nation within three days.