HC appoints 5 independent directors at Int’l Leasing
The High Court has appointed five independent directors to the much-talked about International Leasing and Financial Services for smoothly running operations as it had incurred a loss of around Tk 3,000 crore.
The company bench of Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar made the appointments.
All the members of its present board of directors, except for Chairman Nazrul Islam Khan who was appointed by the bench earlier, are accused in a number of criminal cases and are fugitives in the eye of law.
The HC bench announced the appointments on June 16 on hearing an application filed by the non-bank financial institution for the induction of some independent directors.
That day, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) submitted an affidavit before the HC bench.
It pointed out that a number of criminal cases of cognisable offences are pending against all the present board members, except for Khan, and till date they have remained on the run.
Placing the affidavit, Khurshid Alam Khan, representing the ACC, said unless the board members obtained bail from a court, they could not attend any board meeting.
Lawyer Md Mahfuzur Rahman Milon appeared for NBFI during the hearing.
According to the ACC's affidavit, the accused directors of the international leasing are M Nurul Alam, Nasim Anwar, Bashudeb Banerjee, Nowsherul Islam, Md Anwarul Kabir, Md Nuruzzaman and Muhammad Abul Hasem.
The HC bench recently released the full text of its order observing that because of their fugitive status, the present board members were not competent to attend any board meeting, extraordinary meeting and annual general meeting.
"It means that the company is currently not in a position to call any type of meeting with the required quorum towards smoothly running its business because of not having sufficient members in its board of directors," said Justice Sarkar.
Under the circumstances, the company's prevailing situation falls within the purview of Section 85(3) of the Companies Act as had been in the case of "Tees Mart Inc Vs BIFCL", said the court.
Among the newly inducted directors, Syed Abu Naser Bakhtear is the former managing director and chief executive officer of Agrani Bank, Prime Bank and South East Bank.
The others include Md Shafiqul Islam, a retired senior district and sessions judge and a former ACC director, Brig Gen (retired) Md Meftaul Karim, Barrister Md Ashraf Ali and Enamul Hasan, FCA.
The company has been directed to pay each an honorarium of Tk 25,000 for attending each board meeting.
The HC also ordered Bangladesh Bank to do the needful to let the board of directors form and run the NBFI as per the court's order.
The HC on January 21, 2020 placed a bar on 20 people, including the much-talked about Proshanta Kumar Halder, also known as PK Halder, from leaving the country for allegedly embezzling Tk 3,000 crore from the NBFI.
The HC also directed the central bank and all private banks to freeze the accounts of PK Halder, his five relatives, Bank Asia's former managing director Erfanudidn Ahmed and Halder's cohort Uzzal Kumar Nondi for allegedly misappropriating the funds.