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HC reforms 7-member fact finding body

Graft In 3 Financial Institutions

Published : Wednesday, 24 February, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 102

The High Court (HC) on Tuesday reformed seven-member fact finding committee to identify those involved with irregularities and corruption in three financial institutions listed under the stock market.
The fact-finding committee will have to mark the liabilities of the responsible people in this regard.
Three financial institutions are Peoples Leasing and Financial Services Limited (PLFSL), Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company Limited (BIFC) and International Leasing and Financial Services Limited (ILFSL).
Expressing anger, the HC said corrupt officials of the central bank took benefits from the borrowers including much-talked-about Proshanta Kumar Halder, popularly known as PK Halder.
It termed Bangladesh Bank Executive Director Shah Alam a thief and robber.
The court said PK Halder and SK Sur Chowdhury, a former deputy governor of the central bank, will continue committing crimes.
The Court will not waste time after them. We are now trying whether the laundered money could be recovered keeping the company functioning.
The court also expressed its grievance over the role of the Bangladesh Bank and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in preventing irregularities from the financial institutions.
A section of Bangladesh Bank officials who were in charge of the financial institutions had sucked honey from the organizations, the HC said.
The single virtual HC bench of Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar came up with the observation while holding hearing on Peoples Leasing and Financial Services Limited (PLFSL) scam.
Lawyer Mustak Ahmed represented 51 loan borrowers     while Barrister Khan Mohammad Shamim Aziz stood for Bangladesh Bank.
The HC bench in November last year sought a list of the loan defaulters from PLFSL, a non-bank financial institution which is on the process of winding up. Then the provisional liquidator of the company submitted a list before the HC bench on November 23.
Following the earlier HC order, on the day only 51 borrowers appeared out of the 280 before the bench.
Seeing the lowest appearance, the HC said if the rest of the borrowers would not come on March 9 they would face arrest warrant.
During the hearing, some of the borrowers sought time from the court to pay the amount, but some of the borrowers told the court that they were not aware of the burden as they did not take any amount from the company.
"The borrowers who have come here want to pay the money. But the court cannot collect the money. The board of the company has to be revived for that."
"Bangladesh Bank needs to do something about this. But in the last two years they have done nothing. So, I summoned them."
The court included two persons, Moyeedul Islam, a former district and sessions judge, and Dr Nurur Rahman, a former secretary, with the five-member fact finding committee formed earlier consisting of five high officials of the central bank.
Earlier, the central bank on February 15 this year formed a five-member fact finding committee following a High Court order. The AKM Sajedur Rahmna Khan, the Deputy Governor of the central bank, was made the Chairman of the committee.
Four other members are central bank Executive Director AKM Fazlur Rahman, General Manager of the Financial Stability Department Dr Md Kabir Ahammad, General Manager of the Banking Inspection Department-4 Md Nurul Amin and Deputy General Manager of the Foreign Currency Inspection Department Md Sorowar Hossain.
According to the HC order, the body will also mark the liabilities of the central bank officials who were in charge of overseeing the activities of the financial institutions from the year 2002 to date.
The court said the seven-member committee shall be competent to interrogate any officer of the Bangladesh Bank and the aforesaid financial institutions.
If the independent court-appointed members of the committee suggest any issue, the chairman and other members of the committee shall implement the same.

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