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BB privilege for defaulters

HC questions legality of loan rescheduling

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24th-Jul-2019       
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Staff Reporter :
The High Court (HC) on Tuesday questioned the legality of a Bangladesh Bank circular allowing defaulters to reschedule their loans with a repayment period for 10 years and get further loans.
The court issued a rule asking the authorities concerned of the Bangladesh Bank and the government to explain in 10 days as to why the circular issued on May 16 giving privilege to the loan defaulters should not be declared illegal.
The HC bench of Justice J B M Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order after hearing on a petition filed by a rights organization, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).
Petitioner's lawyer Advocate Manzill Murshid told the reporters that the Appellate Division order of July 8 on this issue will remain in force.
The court fixed July 31 for further hearing on the issue, the lawyer said.
On July 8, the Supreme Court extended for two months its stay on a High Court order that halted the Bangladesh Bank circular.
The apex court, however, issued a condition saying that the loan defaulters would not be allowed to get further loans by depositing two per cent down payment of the total loan amount. Besides, the court also asked the HC bench led by Justice J B M Hassan to hear and dispose of the petition filed in this regard in next two months.
On July 3, Chamber judge of the Appellate Division of the SC, Justice Md Nuruzzaman stayed the HC order till July 8 and sent it to the SC full bench.
Following a writ petition filed by a rights organization, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), the HC on May 21 issued a status quo till June 24 on the central bank's May 16 circular that allowed defaulters to reschedule their defaulted loans upon a down payment of just two percent of the total loan amount up to 10 years, and to get further loans.
On June 24, the HC extended its May 21 order for next two months.
The HC bench of Justice F R M Nazmul Ahasan and Justice K M Kamrul Kader passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.
After the SC's order, writ petitioner's lawyer Advocate Manzill Murshid told that the borrowers can reschedule their loans with two percent down payment of the total amount of the loans, but they cannot get fresh loans from any bank following the SC order.
The Finance Ministry recently filed a petition with the SC seeking stay on the HC's May 21 and June 24 orders.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam appeared for the Finance Ministry, Advocate Muniruzzaman for Bangladesh Bank, Advocate Shah Monjurul Hoque for Bankers Association of Bangladesh (BAB) and Advocate Manzill Murshid argued for the HRPB.

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