Hasnat Abdullah gets 9yrs for tax evasion
A special court yesterday sentenced former chief whip and Awami League leader Abul Hasnat Abdullah to nine years' imprisonment for three counts of tax evasion.
Judge AK Roy of the second special court, set up at the MP hostel on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises, delivered the verdict against Hasnat, who is on the run.
The court also fined him Tk 40 lakh; in default of which he would have to stay in jail six more months. It also ordered the authorities to confiscate his properties worth Tk 1.65 crore that Hasnat did not mention in his tax returns submitted to the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
Abul Hasnat was sentenced to one year's imprisonment for not submitting his tax return for 2004-05 tax year and another three years for giving false information in his tax returns. He was awarded five years' imprisonment for concealing information about wealth worth Tk 1.65 crore in his tax returns submitted between 2001-02 and 2006-07, excluding the year when he did not submit the tax return.
The court, however, ordered the sentences to be effective concurrently. As a result, he would have to serve five years in prison. The sentences were handed down under sections 164, 165 and 166 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 1984.
Assistant Tax Commissioner of NBR Mohammad Safiul Azam filed the case against him on October 25 in connection with evading Tk 37,47,793 income tax.
The following day, a Dhaka court issued an arrest warrant against him.
The property Hasnat had concealed include $39,000, 40 tolas of gold and a five-storey building in the capital.
A total of 16 witnesses gave their depositions during the hearing of the trial.
Hasnat allegedly went to India two days before the state of emergency was proclaimed on January 11. He is supposedly living there with his daughter and daughter-in-law.
The Fourth Special Court, set up at the MP hostel on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises, is expected to deliver a verdict against former state minister for LGRD and cooperatives Ziaul Haq Zia's wife Nasima Haq and son Mashfiqul Haq in connection with two tax evasion cases today (Thursday).