The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has scrapped a ‘Leave to Appeal’ petition filed by chairman of Grameen Telecom and Nobel Laureate Prof Dr Muhammad Yunus as well as three others, challenging a High Court order that cleared the way for labour court proceedings against him.
A three-member bench of the Appellate Division led by Justice Md Nuruzzaman gave the order on Monday (May 8) clearing the way for the Labour Court to continue its proceeding.
The Appellate Division on April 3 had set Sunday (May 8) for passing order on the matter as the hearing was concluded on that day.
Barrister Abdullah Al Mamun stood for the petitioners in the court, while Advocate Md Khurshid Alam Khan argued for the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) and Attorney General AM Amin Uddin represented the state.
“We are not satisfied with the order. We will fight a legal battle in this case in the judicial court,” said Dr Yunus’s lawyer Barrister Abdullah Al Mamun.
Earlier on August 17 in 2022, the High Court discharged a rule that stayed proceedings of the case against Dr Muhammad Yunus and three others for allegedly violating labour laws.
The HC bench of Justice SM Kuddus Zaman and Justice Fahmida Quader passed the order, after holding a hearing on the rule issued on December 12 in 2021.
Earlier on September 9 in 2021, DIFE Labour Inspector Arifuzzaman filed the case with Dhaka 3rd Labour Court. Other accused in the case are- managing director of Grameen Telecom Ashraful Hasan and its directors Nurzahan Begum and Shahjahan. The court had summoned the four to appear before it by October 12 in 2021.
According to the case statement, a team of the DIFE went on an inspection to the Grameen Telecom and found the violations of labour laws like not regularizing 101 staff, and not establishing a welfare fund for the labourers, among others.
No participation fund and welfare fund was formed for them and five per cent of the company’s profit was not provided to the workers following the law.
Upon a complaint, a criminal case was filed under sections 4, 7, 8, 117, 234 of the Labour Act.
After hearing the case, the Labour Court had also summoned the four to appear before it on October 12 in 2021. Later the Labour Court granted bail to Dr Yunus in the case on that day.Later on December 7, Dr Yunus filed a petition with the High Court seeking scrapping of the case.