Professor Yunus seeks stay on labour court case trial

Nobel laureate professor Muhammad YunusFile photo

Professor Muhammad Yunus moved the appellate division of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, seeking a stay on proceedings in a case filed against him in the Dhaka Labour Court.

Lawyer Abdullah Al Mamun filed the appeal on behalf of the Nobel laureate and former chairman of Grameen Communications Ltd.

On 17 August, a High Court bench of justices SM Kuddus Zaman and Fahmida Quader rejected Yunus’ petition paving the way for trial in the case.

On 13 June, the Appellate Division stayed the trial proceedings of the case for two months.

The SC also ordered the HC bench, led by justice SM Kuddus Zaman, to dispose of the rule seeking explanation as to why the case against professor Yunus should not be cancelled.

On 7 June, the Appellate Division ordered the disposal of the rule within two months.

On 9 September last year, labour inspector Arifuzzaman of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, filed the case in Dhaka Labour Court (Third).

Other accused in the case are Ashraful Hasan, managing director of Grameen Telecom, and its directors Nurzahan Begum and Shahjahan.

According to the case, during a visit to Grameen Telecom office, inspectors of the department found that 101 workers who were supposed to be permanent were working as temporary staff.

No participation fund and welfare fund was created for them and five per cent of the company’s profit was not provided to the workers as per law.

Upon a complaint, a criminal case was filed under sections 4, 7, 8, 117, 234 of the Labour Act.

On 12 October, the labour court granted bail to the all four accused.

Later on 7 December, Muhammad Yunus filed a petition in the High Court seeking scrapping of the case.

On 12 December, the HC stayed the procedure of the case for six months.

The court also issued a rule asking the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments as to why the case will not be set aside.

The court had asked secretaries of the Ministry of Law, Ministry of Labour and Employment and others involved to respond to the rule.