Submit list or face action
The High Court yesterday ordered Bangladesh Bank to submit by June 24 a list of names and addresses of borrowers who defaulted on their loans of over Tk 1 crore.
During hearing a writ petition, the court also asked the central bank governor to submit to it a report containing details about laundering money to different countries and the steps taken to recover the laundered money by the same date.
The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader said it would take necessary action against the BB if it did not file the list and report to the court in one week after its upcoming vacation, petitioner’s lawyer Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star.
The HC will go on an annual leave on May 24 and will reopen on June 16.
During the court proceedings, central bank’s lawyer barrister M Moniruzzaman told the HC that the BB was barred from disclosing its confidential information, including the list of bank loan defaulters, under article 46 of the Bangladesh Bank Order 1972.
Opposing his arguments, advocate Manzill said the central bank tried to save the loan defaulters by referring to article 46 of the Bangladesh Bank Order 1972.
The HC had earlier ordered the BB to submit the list and report to this court. It passed the order under article 102 of the country’s constitution, Manzill said, adding that the central bank cannot violate the HC orders.
The HC refused to accept the argument of the BB lawyer and asked the central bank to comply with its order or face action.
After the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh filed the writ petition, the HC bench on February 13 this year ordered Bangladesh Bank to submit a list of borrowers defaulting on their loans of over Tk 1 crore.
The court had issued a rule asking the respondents to explain why their failure or inaction to stop various irregularities and corruption in sanctioning loans and offering waiver of interest payments against bank loans in the last 20 years should not be declared illegal.
It also asked them to show causes why their failure to recover the loans from the defaulters in the past two decades should not be declared unlawful.
The respondents are secretaries to the Cabinet Division and the Prime Minister’s Office, ministries of finance and law, the financial institutions division, the BB governor, the chairmen of the National Board of Revenue and the Anti-Corruption Commission.
On April 30 this year, the HC had ordered the central bank to submit the list and report to it by yesterday.