Can’t keep our eyes closed to this: SC on Bangladesh banking sector
07:55 PM, February 16, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:36 PM, February 16, 2020

Can’t keep our eyes closed to this: SC on banking sector

The Supreme Court today expressed concern at the present situation of the country's banking sector, and wanted to know the financial state of International Leasing and Financial Services Limited (ILFSL), a non-banking financial institution.

The apex court asked former Bangladesh Bank deputy governor Dr Khondker Ibrahim Khaled, who has been appointed as an independent chairman of ILFSL by the High Court, to explain the condition of the organisation in writing. It also asked an official of the central bank, not below the rank of executive director, to appear before it at 9am on February 25.

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It said the condition of the banks are worsening day by day and the government is sustaining them [banks] by providing money.

"We can't keep our eyes closed to this situation," a four-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain said.

The SC bench passed the order and made the observation during hearing an appeal filed by ILFSL, challenging the HC directive that asked the government to freeze bank accounts and seize passports of several people of ILFSL, including former managing director of NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance Limited Proshanta Kumar Halder.

Following a petition filed by two depositors of ILFSL, the HC on January 21 directed Bangladesh Bank and all private banks to freeze the accounts of PK Halder, his five relatives, Bank Asia Limited's former managing director Erfanudidn Ahmed and Halder's cohort Uzzal Kumar Nondi on charge of embezzling Tk 3,000 crore from different leasing companies by taking loans in the name of fake companies.

The bench of Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar also directed the government to seize passports of PK Halder, now abroad, his five relatives, his mother Lilaboti Halder, brother Pritish Kumar Halder, wife Susmita Saha, cousins Amitav Adhikari and Avijit Adhikari and Erfanuddin Ahmed and Uzzal Kumar to stop them from leaving the country.

The HC also appointed Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled as the independent director and chairman of ILFSL to run the company.

Later on, ILFSL filed the appeal with the SC challenging the HC verdict.

Advocate Ahsanul Karim appeared for ILFSL while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Additional Attorney General Murad Reza represented the state.

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