HC: Probe Janata Bank irregularities

The High Court on Sunday ordered investigation into the alleged irregularities in loan disbursement by the state-owned Janata Bank.

The bench of Justices Naima Haider and Muhammad Khurshid Alam directed the Finance Secretary to form the probe panel led by a former Bangladesh Bank Governor within seven days after a primary hearing on a writ petition.

The court also ordered the government to put two high officials from the Ministry of Finance and Banking Division on the committee.

It also asked the committee to file a report on its findings to the court within three months after investigating the charges of irregularities against the Janata Bank officials.

The committee will prepare a policy to stop corruption over loan disbursement and submit it as a report to the court.

The court also ordered the Banking Division Secretary to let it know about the amount of loan waived by the bank in the last ten years at the same time.

The bench directed the Governor of Bangladesh Bank to list the measures the central bank had taken over the irregularities of the Janata Bank.

The President of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh Advocate Manzill Murshid filed the plea attaching a Nov 22 Daily Jugantor report over the alleged irregularities being practised in Janata Bank while sanctioning loans.

The report said Janata Bank had given millions of loans to little known institutions in exchange for bribes.

“The banks deposit the money saved by people. Some of the Janata Bank officials are disbursing loans to some people without any name or address violating the rules. Incidents like the Hall-Mark can happen if action is not taken in this regard,” Murshid told the court on Sunday.

The court asked the Janata Bank Managing Director and the General Manager of the bank’s Industrial Loan Department to report within a month on the measures taken against those officials involved with the suspected irregularities.

The court also issued a ruling asking why failure of the respondents ‘to stop corruption and illegal loans’ of the bank should not be declared illegal.

The Finance Secretary, Banking Division Secretary, Bangladesh Bank Governor, the Chairman and MD of the Janata Bank’s Board of Directors, the GM of the Bank’s Industrial Loan Department and the ACC Chairman have been made respondent to the ruling.

Source: The Daily Star