Md Yunus loses final attempt to remain chief of Grameen Bank

Bangladesh`s Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a final bid by Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus to overturn an order sacking him from the pioneering micro-finance bank he founded nearly three decades ago.

Updated: May 05, 2011, 19:56 PM IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh`s Supreme Court on Thursday
dismissed a final bid by Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus to
overturn an order sacking him from the pioneering
micro-finance bank he founded nearly three decades ago.

The Supreme Court dismissed two petitions filed in
connection with Yunus` removal from the post of managing
director at Grameen Bank.

"Both the leave petitions are dismissed," chief
justice ABM Khairul Haque pronounced as the seven-member apex
court rejected the petitions by Yunus and nine directors of
the pioneering micro lending agency after three days of
hearing.

Judges ruled that Grameen Bank was a government
institution, not a private bank as Yunus and his legal team
have maintained, meaning employees must abide by the state`s
mandatory retirement age of 60.

Yunus, 70, was sacked as head of Grameen Bank by the
Bangladesh central bank on March 2. He, however, defied the
order, returning to work and lodging a legal case challenging
the dismissal.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told newsmen that the
apex court verdict meant the Nobel laureate could no more
cling to his position as he lost his "last legal battle".

However, Yunus`s lawyers said they planned to explore
a final option of filing a "review petition".

"We are planning to file a review petition with the
appellate division against its own judgement after obtaining
the copy of the order," Yunus`s counsel told reporters.

The Appellate Division on April 5 dismissed petitions
against an High Court order that rejected his writ petition
against a Bangladesh Bank decision to remove Yunus from
Grameen Bank, which he founded in 1983.

Soon after the apex court decision, lawyers of Yunus
and nine directors of the Grameen Bank submitted identical
prayers seeking to recall the verdict saying they had more
points to argue as the judges were yet to sign their order.

Today`s development came days after employees of the
micro lending agency in a press conference demanded Yunus be
appointed as the chairman of the institution by the government
if he loses his legal fight in retaining his position as its
executive chief.

A government committee two weeks ago had cleared Yunus
of allegations of mishandling of a Norwegian fund for his
Grameen Bank as it submitted its report to the government.

Despite a clean chit issued by Norwegian government ,
Bangladesh government in January this year formed a "review
committee" to examine Grameen Bank transactions.

He was fired from his position as the Grameen Bank`s
managing director two months ago ahead of the submission of
the report by the investigators, sparking a massive
international outrage.

The US had warned that its ties with Bangladesh could
deteriorate unless government reached an amicable settlement
with Yunus.

PTI