SC orders status quo till Jan 8
The Supreme Court chamber judge today put on hold until next year the inquiry into S Alam Group owner Mohammed Saiful Alam's "assets abroad".
The bench of Justice Enayetur Rahim passed the order, setting January 8, 2024 for holding the next hearing on the matter before a full bench, led by the chief justice.
There is a possibility that that date will fall after the next parliamentary polls.
Senior lawyers Ajmalul Hossain and Ahsanul Karim represented Alam and his wife Farzana Parveen.
The judge ordered that a status quo be maintained regarding the matter until the next hearing.
However, the chamber judge did not make any remarks about Saiful's petition seeking gag on the media. The petition was submitted by the party to the attorney-general's office.
On August 21, a petition was filed with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court seeking stay on a High Court order that asked the authorities concerned to probe allegations against the owner of S Alam Group of amassing a huge amount of wealth abroad without Bangladesh Bank's permission.
There are allegations that Saiful owns many properties abroad, including a business empire worth almost $1 billion in Singapore.
Alam and his wife Farzana submitted the petition to the Appellate Division on August 21 through their lawyers.
On August 6, the HC had ordered the ACC, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) and police's Criminal Investigation Department to conduct inquiries into allegations raised by a report of The Daily Star on August 4.
The HC on that day had asked for their reports as early as possible, preferably in two months. The court also asked The Daily Star to submit it in two months the documents based on which the report was prepared.
Yesterday, The Daily Star submitted the authenticity report to the HC through swearing an affidavit.
According to the investigative report by this newspaper, Saiful has built a business empire in Singapore worth about $1 billion, although there is no record of him taking any permission from the central bank to invest or transfer any funds abroad.
The central bank has so far allowed 17 companies to invest outside the country, and the Chattogram-based business giant, S Alam Group, is not one of them.
In Singapore, Saiful bought at least two hotels, two homes, one retail space, and other properties over the last one decade, all the while seeking to remove his name from the paper trails, documents cited by the report show.