The Labor Appellate Tribunal in Dhaka yesterday granted bail to Nobel laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus and three officials of Grameen Telecom.
The bail will remain in effect until the labor law violation case filed against them is disposed of.
Judge MA Awal of the country’s lone Labor Appellate Tribunal, in Dhaka’s Kakrail, passed the order after hearing a petition, said the defendants’ lawyer Abdullah Al Mamun.
Cancellation of the verdict and acquittal of the convicts from the charges were also sought in the peti-tion, he said.
Taking the petition into cognizance, the appellate tribunal summoned the documents of the verdict of the labour court, the lawyer said.
Earlier in the morning, a petition was submitted with the tribunal challenging a Dhaka court’s verdict that sentenced the four to six months in jail in the labour law violation case.
The Nobel laureate and the Grameen Telecom officials were present in the court during the submission of the petition.
Earlier on January 1 this year, the Dhaka Third Labor Court sentenced the four to six months’ jail, with fine of Tk 25000 each, in the case.
The court also granted them conditional bail on the same day.
Rejecting the judgment, the Nobel laureate said, “I have been punished for a crime that I haven’t com-mitted… If you want to call it justice, you can.”
The court set January 1 to pronounce the verdict in the case after hearing the arguments of both the prosecution and the defence on December 24 last year.
On June 6, 2023, the court framed charges against the four accused.
The others accused in the case are: Ashraful Hasan, CEO of Grameen Telecom Trust; trustee Nurjahan Begum; and managing director M Shahjahan.
According to the case, during an inspection visit to Grameen Telecom, inspectors found that 101 workers and staff members who were supposed to be permanent were not made so. No participation fund and welfare fund were formed for them and five percent of the company’s profit was not provided to the workers following the law. Upon a complaint, a criminal case was filed under sections 4, 7, 8, 117, 234 of the Labor Act.