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Yunus loses appeal against ouster from Grameen Bank

Tuesday March 08, 2011 06:14:26 PM, IANS

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Dhaka: The Dhaka High Court Tuesday rejected Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus's writ petition challenging the legality of his removal as managing director of Grameen Bank that he founded three decades ago.

Yunus will appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court, Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud, a counsel for Yunus, told journalists.

The bench of Justice Momtaz Uddin Ahmed and Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore passed the order after a three-day hearing, Star Online reported.

Yunus had challenged the March 2 order of the Bangladesh Bank, the country's central bank, removing him as managing director (MD) of Grameen Bank.

"It is abnormal, unimaginable and surprising that the High Court passed the judgment without issuing any rule," Sara Hossain, one of Yunus's lawyers, told journalists.

Hossain termed the day as "a sad one for the whole nation".

The court ruled that Yunus serving as Grameen Bank MD over the last 10 years was illegal and it accepted the explanation Bangladesh Bank mentioned in its letter that relieved Yunus from the microcredit organisation.

Yunus's removal hit international headlines last week as foreign governments, including the US, protested the manner of his removal.

'Friends of Grameen', a newly established group headed by former Ireland president Mary Robinson, last month denounced the government's action.

The court said that the board of directors of the Grameen Bank is the authority to appoint the managing director with approval from the Bangladesh Bank. But it did not take the approval in Yunus's case since 1999, the court said.

The court said there was "no substance" in the submission of the petitioner's counsels.

During the third day's hearing on the petition Monday, Rokanuddin Mahmud, one of the counsels for the Nobel laureate told the court: "We apprehend that Dr Muhammad Yunus will not get justice from you...."

"We have come to you for something. If you don't give us anything, then just reject the petition, and we will leave," Mahmud said.

"Was he awarded the Nobel Prize to legalise his illegal acts? Why Bangladesh Bank maintained relationship with Dr Yunus and his Grameen Bank for so long, if holding of the office by him was illegal," Mahmud asked the court.

Yunus was relieved of his duties through a Bangladesh Bank letter sent to Grameen Bank chairman Khondoker Muzammel Huq.

The central bank said Yunus failed to seek its approval when he was re-appointed as the managing director in 2000, violating one of the statutes of the partly state-owned Grameen Bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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