Yunus Loses Final Attempt to Remain Chief of Grameen Bank

May 2011
Dhaka, Bangladesh, May, 05 2011 - Bangladesh's Supreme Court today dismissed a final bid by Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus to overturn an order sacking him from the pioneering micro-finance bank he founded nearly three decades ago.

The Supreme Court dismissed two petitions filed in connection with Yunus' removal from the post of managing director at Grameen Bank.

"Both the leave petitions are dismissed," chief justice ABM Khairul Haque pronounced as the seven-member apex court rejected the petitions by Yunus and nine directors of the pioneering micro lending agency after three days of hearing.

Judges ruled that Grameen Bank was a government institution, not a private bank as Yunus and his legal team have maintained, meaning employees must abide by the state's mandatory retirement age of 60.

Yunus, 70, was sacked as head of Grameen Bank by the Bangladesh central bank on March 2. He, however, defied the order, returning to work and lodging a legal case challenging the dismissal.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told newsmen that the apex court verdict meant the Nobel laureate could no more cling to his position as he lost his "last legal battle".

However, Yunus's lawyers said they planned to explore a final option of filing a "review petition".

"We are planning to file a review petition with the appellate division against its own judgement after obtaining the copy of the order," Yunus's counsel told reporters.

The Appellate Division on April 5 dismissed petitions against an High Court order that rejected his writ petition against a Bangladesh Bank decision to remove Yunus from Grameen Bank, which he founded in 1983.

Soon after the apex court decision, lawyers of Yunus and nine directors of the Grameen Bank submitted identical prayers seeking to recall the verdict saying they had more points to argue as the judges were yet to sign their order.

Today's development came days after employees of the micro lending agency in a press conference demanded Yunus be appointed as the chairman of the institution by the government if he loses his legal fight in retaining his position as its executive chief.

A government committee two weeks ago had cleared Yunus of allegations of mishandling of a Norwegian fund for his Grameen Bank as it submitted its report to the government.

Despite a clean chit issued by Norwegian government , Bangladesh government in January this year formed a "review committee" to examine Grameen Bank transactions.

He was fired from his position as the Grameen Bank's managing director two months ago ahead of the submission of the report by the investigators, sparking a massive international outrage.

The US had warned that its ties with Bangladesh could deteriorate unless government reached an amicable settlement with Yunus.

Source : Deccan Herald

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