Banglasdesh Nobel laureate loses legal battle to retain Grameen Bank's job

10:42, April 06, 2011      

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Bangladesh's supreme court Tuesday confirmed a High Court verdict upholding the country's central bank order that stripped Noble laureate Muhammad Yunus of his position at Grameen Bank, which he founded more than three decades ago.

The seven-member bench of the Appellate Division of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque dismissed 70-year-old Yunus' leave-to-appeal petition filed against the High Court verdict on April 3.

The High Court on March 8 dismissed the Nobel laureate's writ petition challenging the legality of the central bank order which had dispelled him from the post of Grameen Bank managing director.

Yunus was relieved by the Bangladesh Bank (BB) on March 2 from his position as the managing director in the Grameen Bank, with which he shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

The High Court said the microcredit pioneer's serving as the managing director of the Grameen Bank since 1999 was illegal as he was then beyond 60 years old. The managing director's position at Grameen Bank is an official one and one cannot hold it for an unlimited period, it added.

Attorney General Mahbube Alam told reporters that Yunus has no right to hold the office of managing director of Grameen Bank from now on as the Supreme Court upheld the Hight Court verdict.

Kamal Hossain, Yunus' chief counsel, did not make any comment but said that the hearing of another leave-to-appeal petition filed by nine directors of Grameen Bank would be held on Wednesday.

BB in its letter said Yunus did not seek its approval when he was reappointed as the managing director of the bank in 2000, violating one of the statutes of the partly state-owned Grameen Bank in which the government has 25 percent share.

Grameen Bank can be traced back to 1976 when Yunus started his campaign to provide loans to the poor, who had always been overlooked by the traditional banks, from Jobra village in the country's southeastern Chittagong.

In October 1983, the Grameen Bank was transformed into an independent bank by government legislation. After development for a few decades, Grameen Bank has now 20,000 employees and nearly 10 million borrowers.

Source: Xinhua
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