The High Court (HC) has sought the papers on waiving Tk48 crore in interest of a bank loan taken out by former Chattogram BNP leader Mohammad Ali Abbas.
The HC bench of Justice Md Enayetur Rahim and Justice Sardar Mohammad Rashed Jahangir passed the order after hearing a writ petition Monday.
The court also issued a rule asking why the decision to waive Tk48 crore interest would not be declared illegal.
The finance secretary, the governor of the Bangladesh Bank, the chairman and managing director of the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit and the Bangladesh Krishi Bank have been asked to respond to the rule within four weeks.
On 5 May this year, Supreme Court lawyer Anisur Rahman filed a writ petition with the HC attaching a recent news report titled "BNP leader gets Tk48 crore interest waiver illegally".
Lawyer Chanchal Kumar Biswas appeared in the court in favour of the petition.
According to the media report, the ex-Chattogram BNP leader borrowed Tk85 crore from Krishi Bank for business about a decade ago. A case was filed with the money loan court two years later as Abbas did not repay the loan.
The Anti-Corruption Commission also filed a case accusing the BNP leader of misappropriating the amount and money laundering.
But before any of the two cases were settled, the Krishi Bank authorities waived around Tk48 crore interest on the loan.
In the wake of the allegation of illegal waiver of interest, the Bangladesh Bank launched an investigation and submitted a report.
According to the central bank report, Mohammad Ali Abbas of the Khoajnagar area under Karnafuli police station of Chattogram was the former joint convenor of Chattogram District (South) BNP.
On 30 June 2019, he applied with Krishi Bank for interest waiver. The head office of the bank presented the application at its 740th board meeting, said the central bank report.
It added that the board meeting suspended a total interest of more than Tk47.90 crore, and approved the repayment of the dues in ten years.
The finance ministry has formed a committee to look into the matter as there was evidence that the interest was waived through irregularities.