HC cancels Labour Appellate Tribunal's stay on verdict against Dr Yunus, 3 others

Dr Muhammad YunusFile photo

The High Court has cancelled the Labour Appellate Tribunal’s stay order on the conviction of four top officials of Grameen Telecom, including Nobel Laureate economist Dr Muhammad Yunus, in a labour act violation case and verdict against them.

The HC bench of justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and justice Kazi Ebadoth Hossain on Monday passed the order.

The court in the verdict further said the conviction of the four will remain effective until disposal of the appeal. The punishment has been stayed as the four (including Dr Yunus) have got bail. The punishment will remain on stay as long as they will be on bail. The labour court’s order on fine will also remain on stay. The implementable order in the verdict will remain on stay as long as the appeal is disposed of. The appellate tribunal will dispose of the appeal as far as possible. And, the four will have to inform the relevant court if they go abroad.

The third labour court in Dhaka sentenced Dr Muhammad Yunus and three others six months imprisonment and fined Tk 30,000 each in a case the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) filed on charges of violation of labour laws. The verdict was announced on 1 January in 2024.

Dr Yunus and three others filed an appeal against the verdict on 28 January and the Labour Appellate Tribunal accepted the appeal for hearing that day. The tribunal stayed the third labour court’s verdict until 3 March and granted bail to the four.

The three others are  - Grameen Telecom’s former managing director Ashraful Hassan, and directors Nurjahan Begum and Md Shahjahan.

In this context, the plaintiff on 4 February filed for a criminal revision to the High Court challenging certain sections of the Labour Appellate Tibunal’s stay order on the verdict of the third labour court.

The HC on 5 February issued an order along with a ruling after a primary hearing on the appeal filed by plaintiff DIFE.

The rule asked as to why the Labour Appellate Tribunal’s 28 January stay on the Third Labour Court’s 1 January order will not be cancelled.

A hearing on the ruling took place on 6 March. After another hearing on the ruling on 14 March, the HC fixed 18 March (today) for an order.

The High Court, considering several points, today announced the Third Labour Court’s verdict as absolute.

Senior lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan represented the DIFE in the hearing while lawyer Abdullah Al MAmun along with Khawaza Tanvir Ahmed represented Dr Muhammad Yunus and three others.