Order to arrest Jalil for tax dodge
A Dhaka court yesterday issued an arrest warrant against former Awami League general secretary Abdul Jalil in a case filed by National Board of Revenue (NBR) in connection with dodging income tax to the tune of Tk 4 lakh.
Judge ANM Bashir Ullah of Senior Special Judge's Court issued the warrant against the ruling AL lawmaker in line with a case filed by Deputy Tax Commissioner Bazlur Rahman Khan.
The case was filed under section 165/166 of the Income Tax Ordinance 1984.
After a short hearing, the judge recorded statement of the complainant, took cognisance of charges and fixed October 26 for the next hearing.
The court also directed officer-in-charge (OC) of Motijheel Police Station to submit report on the arrest warrant by October 26.
In his complaint, Bazlur Rahman mentioned that Jalil, chairman of Mercantile Bank Ltd, had evaded income tax worth Tk 4,07,485 out of an income from the bank amounting to Tk 54,60,234 for the fiscal years 2003-2008. He concealed his income of Tk 54 lakh in his tax returns submitted to the NBR.
Jalil repeatedly provided false information about his real income and expenditure to Income Tax Department and did not show his tax return, alleged the complainant.
The AL leader came up against the lawsuit nine days after he was stripped of the post of chairman, parliamentary standing committee on commerce ministry on October 6.
The filing of the case and issuance of the arrest warrant against Jalil was nothing but an outcome of his recent derogatory statements about the party and ninth parliamentary elections, observed AL leaders.
In an interview with London-based Bangla TV, former AL general secretary said the party's landslide victory in the ninth parliamentary elections came through an "understanding".
Later in London, Jalil said he suffered from a trauma due to torture by the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) personnel while he was in detention during the caretaker government's tenure. He blamed his state of mind for the remarks he made in the TV interview.
On October 3, Awami League Central Working Committee blasted Jalil for his statements but did not take any organisational actions except terming him "mentally imbalanced". At the meeting Prime Minister and AL president Sheikh Hasina said actions against Jalil would be taken at an appropriate time.
"All these actions against Jalil have been taken for his statements and non-compromising attitude to the party chief," said an AL senior leader.
OC of Motijheel Police Station and also Investigation Officer of the case Nasirul Alam in the forwarding report mentioned that Jalil accumulated a huge amount of wealth and money through corruption as the AL general secretary. He had also been delivering provocative statements against the caretaker government to destabilise the country's political situation. That is why, he needed to be placed in remand, included the report.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), later, filed a graft case against him for acquiring wealth illegally and concealing wealth statements to the ACC.
During the last caretaker government tenure, a large number of cases were filed for dodging income tax. The special court delivered verdict on the cases but the trials become uncertain as the convicts appealed to the high court.
Sources said after Awami League government assumed office in January, the high court quashed some cases while some have been stayed and rest remained pending.