Bangladeshi HC reserves judgment on Yunus case
Last Updated: Monday, March 07, 2011, 21:34
  
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 Tagore.

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.

PTI


First Published: Monday, March 07, 2011, 21:34


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