The Supreme Court yesterday directed Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam and five others to surrender before a lower court in three weeks in connection with a tax evasion case.
The other five are: Shah Alam's wife Afroza Begum and their sons -- Sadat Sobhan, Safiyat Sobhan Sanbir and Sayem Sobhan --, all directors of Bashundhara Industrial Complex Ltd, and its auditor MM Kuddus.
All six were sentenced to different jail terms during the regime of the military-backed caretaker government in 2007 for evading taxes.
The SC yesterday also permitted the government to move an appeal before it against a High Court verdict that acquitted the six in the case.
A four-member bench of the apex court passed the order after hearing two separate leave-to-appeal petitions filed by the government challenging the HC verdict.
Additional Attorney General Momtaz Uddin Fakir told The Daily Star that the six would have to surrender before the Special Judge's Court-3 of Dhaka in three weeks after receiving the SC order.
The National Board of Revenue on July 25, 2007 filed the case with the lower court against Bashundhara Industrial Complex Ltd, and its officials on charge of evading Tk 8.26 crore income tax between the fiscal years 2004 and 2007.
The Special Judge's Court 3 of Dhaka on September 30, 2007 sentenced Shah Alam and his family to eight years' imprisonment for evading taxes.
MM Kuddus, proprietor of Kuddus and Company, which audits the company's financial statements, was jailed for three years for assisting the company in dodging taxes.
The court also fined them a total of Tk 8.3 crore.
Following an appeal filed by Shah Alam, the HC in June 2011 scrapped their jail sentences and acquitted them of the charge.