Dr Yunus gets bail extension in labour law case 

Dr Muhammad YunusFile photo

The Dhaka Labour Appellate Tribunal has extended the bail period for Grameen Telecom chairman Dr Muhammad Yunus and its three other officials in the case filed over the violation of labour laws. 

MA Awal, a senior district and sessions judge and acting chairman of the tribunal, granted the bail extension on Thursday, and also fixed 14 August for the next hearing.

Abdullah Al Mamun, lawyer of the Nobel laureate, told Prothom Alo that the four Grameen Telecom officials, including Nobel laureate Dr Yunus, appeared before the court and appealed for an extension of their bail terms on Thursday. 

The court heard their appeal and scheduled the next hearing for 14 August, he added.

The third labour court in Dhaka sentenced Dr Muhammad Yunus and three others to 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.

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

Also Read

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

In this context, the plaintiff on 4 February filed for a criminal revision to the High Court challenging certain sections of the Labour Appellate Tribunal'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.

After hearing on the ruling, the High Court, considering several points, announced the third labour court’s verdict as absolute on 18 March.

It means the High Court cancelled the Labour Appellate Tribunal’s stay order on the conviction of four top officials of Grameen Telecom in the labour law violation case and verdict against them.

Also Read

The Supreme Court on its website published a full report of 50 pages on Wednesday. According to the full report, conviction of four including Dr Yunus will remain until the appeal is disposed of. There is no rule to stay conviction during the trial of appeal. This conviction can be cancelled, upheld and amended through the disposal of the appeal.

Speaking to Prothom Alo on Wednesday, the DIFE lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said, "We have received the copy of the full verdict. Upon receipt of a copy of HC verdict, a date is set for holding a hearing in the Labour Appellate Tribunal on Thursday. A petition will be filed to hold a hearing of the appeal of four people including Dr Yunus."