Closure of offices of unauthorized financial institutions: HC in government

The High Court today ordered the government to immediately shut down the offices of unauthorized financial and microcredit institutions and take appropriate legal action against them.

In response to a petition, the court also ordered the Bangladesh Bank to form a special committee to investigate the activities of these unauthorized financial and microcredit institutions and submit a report to the court within 45 days of receipt of the copy of the prescription.

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In addition, the HC has asked the microcredit regulator to submit to the court a list of names of local money lenders who are unlicensed and lend money at high interest rates to the court in 45 days.

At the same time, the court issued a rule asking relevant government authorities to show the reasons why their failure to monitor and supervise the activities of unauthorized institutions should not be declared illegal.

The HC Magistracy of Judge Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman and Judge Md Zakir Hossain issued the order and decision after hearing a written petition asking the government to ban informal money lending activities through the country.

Supreme Court attorney Syed Sayedul Haque Suman presented the petition as a public interest litigation to the HC on September 7 – also challenging the respondents’ failure and inaction regarding the informal money lenders of lend money at exorbitant interest rates.

In the petition, he mentioned the relevant secretaries of the ministries of finance, interior, law and social protection, the governor of the Bangladesh Bank, the inspector general of police, the deputy commissioners and the police commissioners from the country’s 64 districts as respondents.

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Marianne R. Winn

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