SC clears way for trial of Professor Yunus in labour case

By The New Age
Published Mon, May 8, 2023 5:01 PM

The Appellate Division on Monday cleared the way for the trial of Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus and three employees of his Grameen Telecom Company by a lower court in a labor law case.

A three-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Justice Md Nuruzzaman, dismissed two appeal petitions filed by Yunus, also the chairman of Grameen Telecom and the company’s director Nurjahan Begum against a High Court’s verdict.

The High Court, in a verdict on August 17, 2022, cleared the way for the Labour Court to continue its proceedings of the case filed by the inspector of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments against Yunus and three others in charge of violating the labor law.

The Department filed the case with Dhaka 3rd Labour Court in September 2021 against four people, including Yunus, for allegedly violating the labor law.

The other accused in the case are — Grameen Telecom managing director Ashraful Hassan and directors Nurjahan Begum and Md Shahjahan.

After hearing the case, the Labour Court also summoned the four to appear before it on October 12, 2021.

The Labour Court granted bail to Yunus in the case.

According to the case documents, a team of DIFE conducted an inspection at Grameen Telecom and found violations of the labor laws, like not regularising 101 staff and not establishing a welfare fund for the laborers.

Lawyer Abdullah Al Mamun, appearing for Yunus in the Appellate Division, told the court that the government intentionally filed the criminal case to harass Yunus.

Khurshid Alam Khan, representing the Department, argued that there was no illegality in prosecuting Yunus and four of his company’s colleagues.