Bangladeshi HC reserves judgment on Yunus case

Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus was sacked from Grameen Bank last week.

Updated: Mar 07, 2011, 21:34 PM IST

Dhaka: A Bangladeshi court on Monday reserved
its judgment on a petition by Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus,
locked in a bitter legal battle with the government over his
sacking from the Grameen Bank, as his lawyers expressed
frustration over `delay` in the ruling.

The High Court is expected to pass an order on Tuesday on Yunus` petition challenging the legality of a central bank
order removing him as Managing Director of the Grameen Bank,
set up by him in 1983.
The bank provides collateral-free loans to eight
million borrowers, the vast majority from rural Bangladesh.

"The court apparently wrapped up the hearing on the
writ as it heard both the sides. It is set to issue an order
tomorrow," a court official said at the end of today`s
proceedings. The 70-year old Nobel Laureate was also present
in the court.

Yunus`s lawyer Rokanuddin Mahmud, voiced his
frustration over the court not coming out with its much-
awaited verdict.
"You are hearing the petition for the past three days.
Please let us know if you feel embarrassed. The world is
watching this courtroom and what it will decide," he told the
court comprising judges Momtaz Uddin Ahmed and Gobinda Chandra

After Mahmud`s submission, Attorney General Mahbubey
Alam contended that Yunus was removed legally as he was
appointed as the Managing Director without prior Bangladesh
central bank`s approval "which is mandatory" under the Grameen
Bank Ordinance.

Yunus`s counsels earlier argued that there is no legal
bar for the micro credit pioneer to continue as the Grameen
Bank`s executive chief on the ground that the Bangladesh
Bank`s directive to remove him was "illegal".

Grameen Bank, which is 25 per cent state-owned,
employs 24,000 people.

Yunus has been in a running battle with Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina since last year after allegations by a Norwegian
television channel that his bank had misappropriated foreign
funds by dodging taxes and accusations that he had overstayed
in his post long after the retirement age of 60.

Yunus has denied financial irregularities and
political observers say that the fight between him and Hasina
was over the banker`s political ambitions.

Along with Yunus as many as nine Grameen Bank
directors had moved a supporting petition for him.

The sacking of the noted micro-financier has come
under criticism internationally, with Norway`s international
development minister flaying the move.