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Dr Yunus convicted, sentenced for violating labor law

Staff Reporter:

A labor court ¦in Dhaka yesterday convicted and sentenced Grameen Telecom Chairman and Nobel Lau-reate Dr Muhammad Yunus and three others to six-month jail in a case filed against them for violating labour law.
Judge Sheikh Merina Sultana of Dhaka’s 3rd Labor Court pronounced the judgment around 3.05pm in presence of all the four convicts.
The court fined them Taka 5,000 each, to suffer 10-day jail in default under a section of the Bangladesh Labor Act, 2006. It also fined them Taka 25,000 each, to suffer 15-day behind bars in default.
“We have tried the chairman of Grameen Telecom here, not the Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus. The charges framed against the four accused were proved beyond any reasonable doubt,” the judge said while delivering the verdict.
The court however, granted the four convicts one-month bail on condition of filing an appeal.
The three other convicts are- Grameen Telecom’s director and former managing director Md Ashraful Hasan, members of Board of Directors Nur Jahan Begum and Md Shahjahan. The court, however, al-lowed the four convicts bail after pronouncement of the judgment.
Earlier, on December 24, the court had fixed yesterday for pronouncing the verdict.
Marking the judgment, Dr Muhammad Yunus came to the court around 1.40 pm with his lawyers. The judge started reading out the summary of the total 84-page judgment at 2.15 pm.
Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) Inspector Arifuzzaman filed the case on September 9, 2021. The court on June 6, 2023, framed charges in the case. A total of four prosecu-tion witnesses including the plaintiff testified on different hearing dates.
According to the case documents, a team of the DIFE went on an inspection to the Grameen Telecom and found the violations of labour laws like not regularizing 101 staff, not establishing a welfare fund for the labourers, and not paying five percent of the company’s dividends to the workers, among others.
DIFE lawyer senior advocate Khurshid Alam Khan said they are happy with the judgment, while de-fence counsel Barrister Abdullah Al Mamun said they did not get justice and will go to High Court against the judgment.

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