Bangladesh`s SC adjourns hearing on Yunus appeal until April 4
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 29, 2011, 20:49
Dhaka: Bangladesh Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned until April 4 hearing on an appeal of Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus against his removal from the Grameen Bank, while 'no progress' was reported on "compromise" negotiations for an amicable settlement of the issue with the government.

Court officials said the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque ordered the adjournment on the hearing until April 4.

The adjournment came immediately after the hearing began when Yunus's lawyers said they were yet to get the certified copy of the previous High Court order upholding the earlier Bangladesh Bank letter firing him from his position as the managing director of the pioneering micro lending agency.

The apex court earlier set today for hearing on Yunus's appeal as senior government leaders said a negotiation was underway for an amicable settlement of the issue amid a growing international criticism against his unceremonious dismissal from the pioneering microfinance bank that he founded three decades ago.

Yunus's lawyer Tamin Husain Shawan told newsmen that the petitioner's counsels sought more time to prepare his case as he lost his initial legal battle in the High Court which upheld the central bank decision to remove him for not obtaining its approval during his 2000 appointment as the executive of the special financial institution.

But the sources familiar with the "compromise" process were yet to come up with any progress report on talks between the government and the Grameen Bank. "I can't tell you anything until now. No comment," a highly placed source who was familiar with the process said.

Yunus three days ago told a foreign newspaper he was "not a political threat to anyone" in Bangladesh and would like to resolve issues "if any" with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the negotiation process were launched.

"The real issue at stake is the right of the bank's 8.3 million borrowers to control their own financial future or whether they will be forced to cede their control to outside authorities," Yunus said.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith last week said the government looked for ways for an amicable settlement of the Yunus issue as he visibly rallied huge international support behind him since his removal from Grameen Bank last month.

"A proposal for the compromise was offered at the very beginning of the issue and we still looks for the opportunity," Muhith said in a statement.

But an anti-Yunus campaign by a section of ruling Awami League was underway despite the launch of the process while the Daily Star newspaper quoting the party "insiders" said the Awami League "party high command instructed a section of its leaders, including some top-ranking ones, to conduct the campaign."


First Published: Tuesday, March 29, 2011, 20:49

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