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ACC to find allegations against Grameen Telecom: HC

05 August 2022

Staff Reporter :
The High Court on Thursday observed that it was proper to direct the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to do needful for finding out the authenticity of the allegations as to diversions of the fund by the Grameen Telecom, an organization owned by Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, to other companies.
It also finds proper to direct the anti-graft body to do needful for finding out the authenticity of the allegation of sending money to the accounts of the Trade Union and its lawyers' in violation of relevant provisions of the labor Act.
"Taking into the consideration of the above facts, this court finds it proper to direct the Anti Corruption Commission to do the
needful for finding out the authenticity of the allegations made by the petitioners as to diversions of the fund by the Grameen Telecom to the other companies and also with regard to the allegation made by learned Additional Attorney General (Mohammad Mehedi Hassan Chowdhury) that money sent to the Trade Union and lawyer's account were in violation of relevant provisions of the Labour Act," the court said in an order.
The High Court bench of Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar passed the observation after disposing of a company matter filed by 'Grameen Telecom Sramik Karmachari Union' against Grameen Telecom over their dues.
In the hearing Additional Attorney General Mehedi Hasan Chowdhury representing the state said, "Since the substantive application was filed on two allegations, namely, the company has not paid the statutory payment of the workers and secondly, Board of Directors have diverted the huge amount of money from Grameen Telecom to its other sister concerns in violation of the laws, therefore, there must be an investigation by the concerned law enforcing agency or by the ACC."
Grameen Telecom has transferred a total of Tk 3009 crore to its other sister concerns, said the state law officer referring a source.
In reply Grameen Telecom lawyer Mustafizur Rahman Khan said, "The ACC has already asked the Grameen Telecom to furnish its relevant documents with regard of its transactions from the date of its incorporation to till date."
Meanwhile, the court on August 2 this year asked 'Grameen Telecom Sramik Karmachari Union's lawyer Md Yousuf Ali to submit details of taking huge amount of fees from his clients.
In a compliance report the lawyer said that at the written request of the beneficiaries six percent of their respective entitlement was deducted for the purpose of meeting legal fees and other costs. And the total amount stands Tk 262.2 million.
From the amount Tk 160 million was paid to the lawyers of the individual employees and their union for conducting a total of 243 cases in different courts. Out of remaining Tk 102.2 million an amount of Tk 5 million were paid to the two of the federation leaders who previously supported the union by giving loans for covering legal expenses.
After the above payment, the remaining amount, Tk 97.2 million was kept with the bank account of the trade union for future investment for welfare of the members of the union. Thereafter, the president, the secretary and the Vice-president of the union most illegally transferred Tk 30 million each, totaling an amount of Tk 90 million, from the above balance of the union account to their personal account.
For such illegal action of the office bearers of the trade union the law enforcing agency has already initiated criminal proceedings against them.
In the affidavit the lawyer also said, "Under no circumstances it can even be alleged that any of this amount was used to influence any of the court officers of any level whatsoever."

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