Adjourns appeal hearing for two weeks
The Supreme Court yesterday adjourned for two weeks the hearing on two appeals filed against the High Court verdict that upheld a Bangladesh Bank order removing Muhammad Yunus from the office of Grameen Bank managing director.
Nobel Laureate Dr Yunus and nine board members of the microfinance bank on March 9 filed two separate provisional leave-to-appeal petitions with the apex court, seeking a stay on the operation of the verdict and the central bank order.
The six-member bench of Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque adjourned the hearing to examine the HC verdict that on March 8 rejected two writ petitions challenging the removal order.
Appearing for the petitioners, Dr Kamal Hossain placed arguments before the apex court.
He told the Appellate Division that Yunus was appointed the Grameen Bank MD with the Bangladesh Bank approval in 1990.
The central bank conducted an audit into the Grameen at different times, but it raised no question about Yunus’ appointment and his holding office as MD, the law expert said.
There was no need for further approval regarding his appointment from Bangladesh Bank, he added.
If the government felt that it was not right for Yunus to hold the office, it could have issued a prior notice seeking his explanation, he added.
Dr Kamal also said the HC has rejected the writ petitions without issuing any rule upon the government or Bangladesh Bank seeking an explanation over Yunus’ sacking.
“We have placed interpretation of law before the High Court, and submitted to the court [the HC] relevant papers and information in support of the writ petitions, but the government placed no papers against the petitions,” he said.
The Appellate Division should examine the HC verdict and also the ground on which it was delivered, Dr Kamal added.
At this stage, the court said it should examine the HC verdict and wait for the copy of the judgement and then it adjourned the hearing that began at 9:05am.
Dr Yunus was present in the court.
Later, Kamal Hossain told reporters that the government should not take any action over his client’s holding of the office, as the issue has become sub judice.
“If the government makes any such move before disposal of the appeals, we can place an application before the Appellate Division for remedy,” he said.
Grameen Bank is an organisation of over 80 lakh of the poor in the country, and that is why, it should not be left in a vulnerable situation, he said.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said the SC did not stay the High Court verdict. The HC judgement is still in force and it should not be disobeyed, he said.
Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, was relieved of his duties at Grameen Bank on March 2 through a Bangladesh Bank letter saying that the 70-year-old micro-credit pioneer was holding the post illegally.
Yunus and the nine Grameen Bank directors filed separate two writ petitions with the HC on March 3 challenging the central bank’s order.
After filing of the petitions on March 9, Chamber Judge Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain briefly heard arguments from both sides and sent the appeals to the full bench of the Supreme Court for a full-fledged hearing.
Mahmudul Islam, Rokanuddin Mahmud, Sara Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman Khan appeared for the petitioners during the hearing yesterday.
Courtesy of The Daily Star