Bank scams: High Court verdict on formation of commission November 3
08:13 PM, October 28, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:27 PM, October 28, 2019

Bank scams: HC verdict on formation of commission Nov 3

The High Court will deliver its verdict on November 3 on the rule issued over the formation of a commission in order to look into the irregularities and corruption in the banking sector including giving out loans and waiving interest in the last two decades.

The HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam fixed the date for passing the judgement after concluding hearing on the rule today.

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Following a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, another HC bench on February 13 this year issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to show causes why they should not be directed to form a commission to look into the irregularities and corruption in the banking sector.

In the rule, the court asked the respondents to explain why their failure or inaction to stop various irregularities, illegalities and corruption in case of sanctioning of loans and waiver of interest against bank loans in the last 20 years should not be declared illegal.

The rule asked them to show causes why their failure to recover the loans from the defaulters in the past two decades should not be declared unlawful.

The respondents are secretaries to the cabinet division and the prime minister's secretariat, ministries of finance, the financial institution division and law, the Bangladesh Bank governor, chairmen of the National Board of Revenue and Anti-Corruption Commission.

The court ordered the respondents to explain why they should not be directed to stop the irregularities and corruption in sanctioning of the loans and waiver of the interest as well as recover the loan amount from the defaulters.

During hearing on the rule on June 24, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam submitted a report from Bangladesh Bank to the HC, saying that the amount of total defaulted bank loans in Bangladesh is Tk 2.2 lakh crore in the last 20 years.

Of the total, 1.1 lakh crore is eligible to be collected, Tk 80,000 crore is involved with court orders in connection with different cases and Tk 30,000 crore cannot be realised, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told the court citing the central bank’s report.

The money was taken by loan defaulters from different banks through 10,476 different accounts in the last 20 years.

During the hearing on the rule, petitioner’s lawyer Advocate Manzill Murshid told the court that depositors had lost huge amounts of money due to some irregularities, illegalities and corruption in the sanctioning of loans and interest waiver.

ACC’s lawyer Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan told the court that the government is the authority to decide whether it would form any commission to look into the irregularities in the banking sector.

The ACC cannot be involved in this issue, he argued.

BB’s lawyer Barrister Muniruzzaman opposed the writ petition, saying that giving out loans and waiving interest is the matter policy level decision of the government and BB and the HC cannot interfere into the issue.

The government and the BB have been taking action against the corruption and irregularities in the banking sector and if any commission is formed over this issue contradiction will take place between the commission and the government and BB, the lawyer argued.

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