HC makes Ibrahim Khaled director, chairman of ILFSL

Dhaka, Jan 21- To Protect the greater interest of the common shareholders and the depositors of the corporate sector of the country, the High Court has appointed Ibrahim Khaled, former deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank, as an independent director and chairman of the International Leasing and Financial Services Limited (ILFSL). At the same time, the HC bench imposed a ban on leaving of the country for all the present shareholder-directors and the top executives of this company till disposal of the case filed before this court in this regard.
The HC bench also directed the government to seize their all wealth so that they could not transfer any of their movable and immovable properties, including stock, cash-money, cars etc, to any persons or entity.
Proshanta Kumar Halder or PK Halder, a director of the ILFSL, has fled the country after creating a Tk 35 billion financial scam, according to media reports. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a case against him on 8 January for illegally amassing a wealth of around Tk 2.75 billion.
Loans amounting to Tk 1.7 billion had been taken from International Leasing and Financial Services in the names of Simtex, Rahman Chemicals, and Northern Jute, the companies taken over by PK Halder. The International Leasing is one of the four financial institutions which had been taken over by PK Haldar. In a Bangladesh Bank report, it had been said that PK Halder himself was the beneficiary of that Tk 1.7 billion. Earlier, Haldar had also served as managing director of NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance.
The persons are MA Hashem (chairman), M Nurul Alam (director and managing director of Shaw Wallace Bangladesh Ltd), MD Zahirul Alam, FCA (independent director), Nasim Anwar, FCA (independent director), Bashudeb Banerjee (independent director), Papia Banarjee (independent director), Momtaz Begum (independent director), Md Nowsherul Islam (independent director), Md Anwarul Kabir (independent director), Engineer Md Nuruzzaman (independent director), Muhammad Abul Hashem (independent director), Rashedul Haque (managing director of the company), PK Halder and his relatives, namely, mother-Lilaboti Halder, brother-Pritish Kumar Halder, wife-Susmita Saha, Cousins- Amitav Adhikari, and Avijit Adhikari, Erfanuddin Ahmed, ex-managing director of Bank Asia Limited and one Uzzal Kumar Nandi.
In its order, the HC bench directed the home secretary to collect details information of all the present shareholder-directors and the top executives of the company and take necessary step immediately to seize their passport so that they cannot leave the country in any way.
The single bench of the HC comprised of Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar had on January 19 came up with the orders after disposing of seven separate petitions including MM Structural Limited seeking HC directive on the ILFSL to return their money.
The ILFSL has already given loan at about Tk 5000 crore to the various company and people after collecting from depositors. But, the company does not pay the money of depositors even after completion of maturity of the fixed deposit.
In December last year, the seven companies, who deposited at about Tk 8.5 crore to the company, filed seven petitions with the HC seeking its directives as the company did not pay their money even after completing maturity of their fixed-deposit.
In response to their petitions, the HC bench had on December 9 last year issued a rule asking the respondents to explain their position within 3 weeks why this winding up application should not be admitted.
After hearing on the rule, the HC bench came up with the order considering the greater interest of the common shareholders and depositors of the company.
In its order, the HC bench observed that considering the greater interest of the shareholders and depositors the court did not pass any order to investigate against directors and file criminal cases against them at this stage.
The shareholder-directors and top executives of the company are running the company callously, in a very cavalier, fashion without applying due diligence, jeopardising the interest of the depositors and general shareholders, the HC bench observed.
The petitioners deserved obtaining an order of admission of this application towards winding up of the company.
However, following the winding up of the company by the High Court order, when it would be publish in the daily newspapers that the company is at the verge of liquidating, thousands of depositors would rush to the counter of the company demanding refund of their money resulting the country’s economy may be collapsed, according to the HC order.
Against the backdrop of the Bangladesh Bank’s utter failure to regulate the affairs of this Financial Institution consequencing to present condition of the ILFSL, this court does not find it appropriate to rely entirely on the Bangladesh Bank to appoint the Administrator to oversee the daily activities of the company.
But, this court’s view and motto is to make the company healthy so that depositors can get their money back. It directed the Bangladesh Bank to freeze all type of bank accounts of the shareholder-directors and top executives till disposal of the case.
The Bangladesh Bank governor is directed to supply the personal and business bank statements of the last five years of the 20 people to the court-appointed chairman within 15 days so that he could submit the statements before the court for its consideration.
It also asked the shareholder-directors and top executive to submit their tax return of the last five years.
The HC bench also directed the registrar of joint-stock companies and firms to furnish the details information of 13 companies including P and L Agro and Hall International and submit the reports before it within 15 days.
The HC bench appointed the chairman after removing the present chairman of the ILFSL, MA Hashem, from his post, but he shall be in the board of directors of the company.
The court ordered the managing director of the company to send a letter to the Bangladesh Bank as to the appointment of the new chairman of the company.
The new chairman shall be paid a monthly honorarium of Tk 3 lakh with well-furnished independent office room, said the court in its order.
The HC bench also fixed February for further order over the matter.
PK Halder is the former managing director of NRB Global Bank and Reliance Finance. He has fled the country after creating a Tk 35 billion financial scam. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had filed a case against him on 8 January for illegally amassing a wealth of around Tk 2.75 billion. – Staff Reporter