Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus sentenced to 6-month jail for labour law violation

Grameen Telecom Chairman and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus has been sentenced to six-month imprisonment along with three senior officials and fined 30,000 Takas (Taka: Bangladesh currency) each for violating labour laws.

The charges include not providing a 5 per cent dividend to workers, failing to regularize staff, and neglecting compensation for public holidays.

Reading out the 84-page verdict, the court said, “The defense complimented the accused No 1, Yunus, who is a Nobel-winning international figure for fighting poverty. But Nobel laureate Yunus is not being tried in this court; he is being tried as the chairman of Grameen Telecom. The allegations of violation of labour law have been proven against him”.

Khurshid Alam Khan, the lawyer representing the Directorate of Factories, expressed contentment with the verdict and said they were able to prove the charges and those violating the law will have to face action.

“We have been able to prove the charges we pressed against them. We received an expected verdict. We think business owners will now be more cautious about flouting labour laws. No one is above the law. If the law is violated, action will be taken against the violators,” he said.

Charges were framed against Yunus and three others in the case on June 6, 2023. Later, on July 23 of the same year, a High Court bench issued a rule, directing the state to explain why the labour court`s charge-framing order should not be annulled.

This action followed an application submitted on May 19 by the accused. Ultimately, on August 8, the High Court dismissed the rule. 

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