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HC wants list of defaulters, money launderers

Published : Thursday, 14 February, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 212

The High Court (HC) on Wednesday ordered the authorities concerned to immediately prepare a list of loan defaulters, loan waivers and money launderers of the last 20 years and submit before it.

An HC bench comprising Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader passed the order after primary hearing on a writ petition filed by lawyer Manzill Morshed on behalf of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) to stop irregularities and corruption in the banking sector.

The court also issued a rule, asking the authorities concerned to explain as to why an order should not be issued to constitute a powerful commission to identify irregularities and corruption in the banking sector in the previous years. Secretaries to Prime Minister's Office, Cabinet, Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh Bank Governor and Chairmen and Managing Directors of all government and private banks have been made respondents.

Lawyer Manzill Morshed stood for the writ petitioner and Deputy Attorney General Barrister A B M Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar for the state.
The court issued a three-point directive to the Bangladesh Bank governor and said a precarious situation has been created in public and private banks and huge money has disappeared from the central bank. Loans were sanctioned from different banks without any security money deposits. Those who were taking the loans failed to repay. Thus, tens of billions of taka were looted, pushing the banking sector into a bad situation, the court observed.

Necessary steps should be taken immediately to stop all irregularities for reviving the economy and taking it to a strong position.
On January 23, rights organisation HRPB served a legal notice, asking the authorities concerned to conduct an inquiry into irregularities in the banking sector of Bangladesh during the last 20 years.

The notice asked the government to form a commission under Section 3 of the Commission Inquiry Act 1956 for the purpose of making inquiry into the various misappropriations of banking money and irregularities in case of loan sanctioning occurred during the last 20 years in different private and public banks.

It asked the authorities to include former Bangladesh Bank governors Dr Mohammad Farash Uddin and Dr Salehuddin Ahmed, former deputy governor Khandker Ibrahim Khalid, former adviser of the caretaker government Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam, former CEO of City Bank NA Mamun Rashid, a representative of Bangladesh Bank and a representative of the Finance Ministry in the proposed commission.
The notice was sent to Bangladesh Bank governor, secretaries to the cabinet, Prime Minister's Office, Finance Division, Financial Institutions Division of Ministry of Finance, and the Law Ministry asking them to form the commission within a week.

As, there was no reply of the notice, the writ was filed with the court.

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