SC stays HC refund order
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld its chamber judge's orders that stayed High Court judgments directing the government to return to 11 business houses around Tk 704 crore realised during the emergency rule.
Hearing Bangladesh Bank's 11 leave-to-appeal petitions, the Appellate Division permitted the central bank to move separate regular appeals before it challenging the HC verdicts.
It asked Bangladesh Bank to submit in six weeks separate concise statements containing the argument points.
The four-member bench also asked Attorney General Mahbubey Alam to submit a report on the business houses' tax returns focusing the relevant years.
M Amir-Ul Islam told journalists that his client, Bangladesh Bank, would move 11 appeals. Following 11 separate writ petitions, the HC had passed the judgements between 2010 and this year, declaring that the money, collected during the military-backed caretaker regime, has been taken illegally.
The chamber judge, following Bangladesh Bank's separate stay petitions, had also asked Bangladesh Bank to file the leave-to-appeal petitions.
The business houses comprise S Alam Group's S Alam Steels Ltd, S Alam Cold Rolled Steel Ltd, S Alam Brand Ltd, S Alam Vegetable Oil Ltd, Galco Steels Ltd, Chemon Ispat Ltd and S Alam Super Edible Oil Ltd (Tk 60 crore); the Consolidated Tea and Lands Company (Bangladesh) Ltd and Boraoora (Sylhet) Tea Company Ltd (Tk 237 crore); Meghna Cement Ltd (Tk 52 crore); Bashundhara Paper Mills Ltd and East West Property Ltd (Tk 15 crore); Unique Eastern Property Ltd (Tk 90 crore); Unique Ceramics Industries (Pvt) Ltd (Tk 70 lakh); Unique Hotel and Resort Ltd (Tk 17.55 crore); Unique Vocational Training Centre (Tk 65 lakh); Borak Real Estate (Pvt) Ltd (Tk 7.10 crore); Eastern Housing Ltd (Tk 35 crore); and East West Property Development (Pvt) Ltd (Tk 189 crore).
Over Tk 1,200 crore was reportedly realised from different business companies and individuals and was deposited to the national exchequer following anti-corruption drives during the Fakhruddin Ahmed-led caretaker government.