Nobel laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus, along with three co-accused, has formally requested acquittal in the labour law violation case they are embroiled in, vehemently asserting that the allegations leveled against them are baseless.
Appearing before the court on Thursday, November 9, the defendants, including Ashraful Hasan, former managing director of Grameen Telecom, and directors Noor Jahan Begum and Shahjahan, appealed to be cleared of the charges that have been hanging over them.
Dr. Yunus' lawyer, Abdullah Al Mamun, argued that the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) had failed to substantiate the charges brought against his client and the others involved.
The case, filed by DIFE Inspector Arifuzzaman on September 9, 2021, at Dhaka’s Third Labour Court, has progressed to a stage where witness depositions and cross-examinations have been concluded.
Earlier this year, on June 6, the court ordered the commencement of the trial against Dr. Yunus, the founding chairman of Grameen Telecom. Subsequently, on July 23, the High Court issued a ruling questioning the legitimacy of the indictment, leading the prosecution to approach the Appellate Division. On August 3, the top court changed the bench to address the ruling.
Despite Dr. Yunus' appeal, a High Court Division bench of Justice SM Quddus Zaman and Justice Shahed Noor Uddin rejected the plea on August 8, affirming the legality of the indictment. Dr. Yunus then sought relief from the Appellate Division, but on August 20, the apex court dismissed the leave-to-appeal petition, clearing the way for the case to proceed without any legal impediments.
As the legal battle unfolds, the spotlight remains on Dr. Yunus and his co-accused, awaiting the court's decision on their plea for acquittal.