HC forms board to run Evaly
The High Court yesterday formed a five-member board to run Evaly in the absence of its incarcerated directors as the government forages to find a way to pay back the controversial e-commerce platform's long line of creditors.
Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik, a former of the appellate division of the Supreme Court, would be the chairman of the five-member board and Mahbub Kabir Milon, an additional secretary of the government, the ex-officio managing director.
The other members are Md Rezaul Ahsan, former local government secretary, Fakhruddin Ahmed, a chartered accountant, and Khan Mohammad Shamim Aziz, a lawyer.
The board will try to run Evaly as a viable entity, and if not possible, it will take steps to wind up the company, said the HC bench of Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar while passing the order.
The order comes following a series of hearings on a petition filed on September 22 under the Companies Act 1994 by an aggrieved customer named Md Farhad Hossain seeking Evaly's liquidation.
In May, Hossain had purchased a washing machine for Tk 33,308 from Evaly but he never received the product nor a refund, which prompted him to take the legal route.
The board has been asked to submit a report on the company on the next due date of the court, said Syed Mahsib Hossain, the petitioner's counsel.
Whether the board would find any success in returning the money of the customers and vendors is highly doubtful seeing that the controversial e-commerce platform hardly has any assets but a mountain of liabilities.
According to Evaly's own assessment, it has assets amounting to Tk 121 crore, while it owes customers and merchants more than Tk 1,000 crore.
The company took advance payments by tempting people with massive discounts on products and promising delivery in 7-45 days.
However, many never received their orders. At the same time, many vendors never received payment for merchandise they had supplied to Evaly.
Subsequently, several cases were filed against Evaly Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Rassel and Chairperson Shamima Nasrin on allegations of embezzlement and cheque fraud. The couple was arrested on September 16.
Evaly's seeming success spawned many imitators. Now, they are all in the same boat, and on October 12, the cabinet division formed a 15-member committee to find a solution to the conundrum.
The committee will recommend measures on the recovery of money from 10 errant e-commerce firms within the next one month, its chief AHM Shafiquzzaman told journalists yesterday after its first meeting.
It is now waiting on the reports from government agencies like the National Board of Revenue and the Bangladesh Bank to proceed with its next plan of action.
Based on the committee's report, the cabinet division will take a call on how to recover the money from the errant e-commerce companies, he said.
The 15-member committee will also prepare reports on how to protect the interests of consumers and merchants and recommend to the government how to bring all the e-commerce companies under one umbrella.