Yunus verdict today
The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict today as arguments ended yesterday on the legality of dismissing Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus as managing director of Grameen Bank he founded.
Three days of hearing took place on two separate petitions -- one filed by Yunus and another by nine directors of Grameen Bank.
Yunus sought withdrawal of the SC order on April 5 that dismissed his leave-to-appeal petition against the High Court verdict upholding the Bangladesh Bank order removing him from the post.
The other petition was filed on April 3 by nine Grameen Bank directors challenging the HC verdict.
Arguments were heard by a seven-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque.
Dr Kamal Hossain, counsel for Yunus, concluded his arguments on Tuesday saying that the HC verdict upholding the Nobel laureate's dismissal from Grameen Bank was flawed.
Barrister Sara Hossain, who stood for nine Grameen directors, dominated the arguments yesterday.
She told the highest court that Bangladesh Bank acted arbitrarily by removing Yunus from Grameen Bank which shared the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize with Yunus for lifting many out of poverty.
Yunus, she said, was not given any opportunity to defend himself.
Sara said the Board of Directors of Grameen Bank is the only authority as per provisions of Grameen Bank Ordinance 1983 to appoint or remove anybody from it.
Bangladesh Bank, she said, interfered in the rights of the board of directors.
The elected directors of Grameen Bank moved the writ petition before the HC to protect their legal rights, and to challenge the central bank's interference in their jurisdiction, she said.
But, the HC rejected their writ petition without holding any hearing on it, Sara said.
The counsel said the board of directors legally decided at a meeting in 2009 that Prof Yunus will remain as MD of Grameen Bank as long as he remains able, she said. Law has empowered the board to take this decision, she added.
The HC normally issues a rule upon the respondents following any writ petition filed by aggrieved officials of any other bank, but it did not do so with regard to the GB directors' petition, she said.
The central bank has appointed a new chairman for Grameen Bank defying the relevant rules, she said, adding that the chairman is appointed from the board of directors as per the rules.
The new chairman on February 28 told Prof Yunus that he was no longer in Grameen Bank, which was like a coup, she said.
The counsel further said the HC committed errors in its verdict, and the apex court should grant the leave-to-appeal petition or return their writ petition to the HC for hearing their grievances in detail.
Attorney General Mah bubey Alam opposed the leave-to-appeal petition, saying Bangladesh Bank acted legally in relieving Yunus of his post.
Grameen Bank was established as per the Grameen Bank Ordinance 1983, and its Section-36 provides that retirement age of the bank's officials is 60, he said. The provision is applicable to Muhammad Yunus as well, he argued.
The attorney general said Yunus is now around 70, and according to Section-36 of the Ordinance, he cannot hold the office of managing director.
Dr Kamal Hossain, advocate Mahmudul Islam and barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud were present for Prof Yunus, while advocate Taofique Nawaz appeared for Bangladesh Bank.