The Artha Rin Adalat (Money Loan Court) in Chattogram has summoned three deputy general managers (DGMs) of Pubali Bank for not taking action against a loan defaulter.
The court also relieved Sheikh Mohammad Shamsuddoha, manager of the Agrabad branch of Pubali Bank, from the responsibility of showing cause over the matter.
Mujahidur Rahman, judge of the court in Chattogram, passed the order on 8 March, which was published on Tuesday.
According to the court sources, the Agrabad branch of Pubali Bank filed a case against owners of RJ Fashion – Salam Hashemi and Md Moinuddin – over a defaulted loan of Tk1.27 crore in 2010.
The court announced a verdict in the case in 2015, ordering the two defendants to pay Tk1.99 crore, including the bank's interest and the cost of handling the case.
The owners of RJ Fashion did not pay the due amount within 90 days of declaring the verdict, so Pubali Bank filed another case at the Chattogram Artha Rin Adalat on 1 June, 2015 to exact the amount. Consequently, the court summoned the accused on 10 September, 2015, but they did not appear.
Then the court fixed 5 November, 2015 as the day to decide on further action against the defendant, but this time the bank officials did not appear before the court. The court has fixed dates 22 times for that purpose since then, but the bank officials have not appeared once.
On 1 February, 2021 the court issued a show cause notice to the bank officials for not appearing before the court.
Then, the current manager of Pubali Bank's Agrabad branch Sheikh Mohammad Shamsuddoha appeared before the court on 8 March this year and submitted his written explanation over not appearing before the court.
Shamsuddoha said he took charge of the bank's Agrabad branch on 21 January this year. So, his negligence in the recovery of the plaintiff's debt was not proven. Overall, the current manager's response was considered satisfactory and he was relieved of the responsibility of showing cause.
Shamsuddoha's written statement also mentioned that from the time of filing this case till 20 January of this year Manjurul Islam Majumder (currently DGM, principal branch), Md Abdur Rahim (currently DGM, Motijheel Corporate Branch) and Md Ali Amjad (currently DGM, Head Office) were the managers of Pubali Bank's Agrabad branch.
The court order mentioned that despite a huge amount of debt being unpaid, the above three branch managers did not take action. Such indifference on the part of managers is tantamount to neglecting their responsibilities as trustees of public money.
Therefore, the court has directed the three DGMs to appear before the court on 28 March to explain why the managing director of the Pubali Bank should not be directed to take disciplinary action against them for negligence of duty, it added.
Shamsuddoha said, "According to the bank's documents and officials concerned, the bank's panel lawyers and bank officials have appeared for all the scheduled dates of the court. The bank even filed a petition in January 2016 to issue warrants against the accused. Since then, the bank authorities have thought that the court may be in the process of issuing warrants against the accused."
"However, we came to know from the court order on 1 February that our petition had not been filed in the court yet. This situation occurred due to an intentional or unintentional mistake made by our panel lawyer," he added.