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Thursday, 05 May 2011

The Supreme Court has rejected the petition of Muhammad Yunus for reversing its earlier verdict on his removal from Grameen Bank.

The full court of the Appellate Division also snubbed another petition filed by nine Bank directors against the High Court order that backed Yunus sacking.

The full court ended simultaneous hearings on the petitions on Wednesday.

The top appeals court in its judgement observed that the recall petition was made out of 'misconception'.

It also clarified that the appeal was heard in line with Article 104 of the constitution, not as a recall petition.

Asked whether Yunus had lost the final legal battle with Thursday's judgement, attorney general Mahbubey Alam said, "Let's see if they make any review petition."

Yunus' lawyer Kamal Hossain was clearly annoyed.

He told reporters the constitution had been entirely violated inside the High Court. "We went to the Supreme Court to protest it, but we did not get [justice]."

"I have been practising for the last 52 years, but never witnessed such unprecedented incident," he said.

"I reckon I have to enrol at the university once again to learn the twenty-first century's constitutional rights," Hossain added.

The nine directors urged the government to appoint Yunus as chairman of Grameen Bank at a press conference immediately after the Thursday's court order.

But attorney general Alam told reporters, "This is not possible, because the Grameen Bank chairman is appointed among the state nominated ones from the bank's board of directors."

Yunus and the nine directors filed separate petitions challenging the legality of his removal, but the High Court in its verdict on Mar 8 dismissed the petitions.

The central bank on Mar 2 removed the Nobel laureate as the micro-lender's managing director for allegedly flouting rules when he was reappointed in 1999.

The Appellate Division upheld the High Court verdict on Apr 5 when Yunus and the nine directors prayed for further hearing and recalling of the apex court judgement.

The removal of Yunus drew flaks from home and abroad with the US warning that bilateral ties would be affected if an amicable resolution was not found.

Main opposition BNP also spoke against the decision, while his supporters said the firing was the culmination of a political vendetta against him.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accused Yunus, who briefly set up his own political party in 2007 during the military-run caretaker government, of using 'tricks' to avoid taxes and 'sucking blood of the poor' with his bank's loans.

The United States had warned that ties with Bangladesh could be affected if a solution was not found to the clash between the government and Yunus.

Martin Hirsch, special envoy of French president Nicholas Sarkozy, also visited Dhaka last month to explore avenues for a possible mediation between Yunus and the government.


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