DGFI illegally took money from businesses during emergency rule: Supreme Court

The military’s spy agency DGFI went beyond its jurisdiction to take money from businesses illegally during the emergency rule, and the military-controlled caretaker government was silent about the matter, the Supreme Court says.

The High Court made the observation in the judgment ordering the government to return the money to the businesses, which was upheld by the Appellate Division on Mar 16.

The Supreme Court published the full Appellate Division verdict scrapping the Bangladesh Bank appeals to overturn the High Court order on Wednesday.

The High Court ordered the government to return Tk 6.15 billion to 11 companies, which wanted back the amount ‘confiscated’ from them during the military-installed caretaker administration.

“…The above facts clearly proved that the entire money have been extorted from the writ petitioners by DGFI during abnormal situation of the country,” the four-member Appellate Division bench headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha observed in the 89-page verdict.

It mentioned that the High Court observed that Directorate General of Forces Intelligence or DGFI “did not have any jurisdiction to collect the said money in the name of the government under any law of the land”

“…the DGFI is not related to any taxation authority and is not justified in extracting the money from the citizen in the name of taxation without the sanction of Act of Parliament,” the Appellate Division said, describing the history and jurisdiction of DGFI.

The verdict also said it was the government’s duty to respond to the writ petitioners’ request for an explanation on the ‘confiscation’ of the money, but the government remained silent while the Bangladesh Bank abetted the ‘illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional extraction of money’.

On Jan 11, 2007, the military installed an interim government headed by Fakhruddin Ahmed by ousting the then President Iajuddin Ahmed-led caretaker administration.

During the two-year emergency regime, many businessmen and politicians were arrested in a crackdown on ‘corruption.’

Between April 2007 and November 2008, a huge amount of money was confiscated from almost 40 businessmen and organisations and kept with the Bangladesh Bank.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith told the Parliament in 2010 that the funds confiscated during the emergency regime were worth almost Tk 12.32 billion.

Source: bdnews24

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