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

15:27, May 05, 2011      

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Bangladeshi Noble laureate Muhammad Yunus Thursday lost his final legal battle against the High Court judgment on his removal from Grameen Bank as the appellate division of Bangladeshi Supreme Court (SC) declined to recall its earlier order.

The seven-member bench of the appellate division headed by Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque passed the order following conclusion of hearing.

Yunus sought withdrawal of the SC order on April 5 that dismissed his leave-to-appeal petition filed against the High Court verdict on April 3 upholding the Bangladesh Bank order removing him from the post.

The High Court Division bench of Bangladesh on March 8 dismissed the Nobel laureate's writ petition filed on March 3 challenging the legality of the central bank order which had dispelled him from the post of Grame Bank managing director.

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

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

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.

Grame Bank can be traced back to 1976 when microfinance pioneer of Bangladesh 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 Grame Bank was transformed into an independent bank by government legislation. After development for a few decades, Grame Bank has now 20,000 employees and nearly 10 million borrowers.

Source: Xinhua
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