The commerce ministry will ask Evaly to explain how the company will meet its liabilities to customers and merchants.
In case of its failure to provide any satisfactory explanation, the ministry will file a case against the company with court either to appoint a liquidator to wind it up or confiscate all of its assets, according to the ministry.
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh on Sunday, said Hafizur Rahman, additional secretary and director general of WTO Cell of the commerce ministry, adding, "We will send a letter to Evaly on Monday to this end."
A commerce ministry official said the e-commerce platform might be given 10 days to respond to the letter.
Officials who attended the meeting said apart from Evaly, all such companies, including Dhamaka Shopping, Alesha Mart, E-orange, will also be called for explanations in phases.
If their explanations do not seem satisfactory after analysing their business models, the same actions will be taken in their cases too, they added.
The meeting discussed the appointment of an administrator in Evaly, but as there is no such provision in the Company Act, the commerce ministry has to go for appointing a liquidator in the e-commerce company or confiscate its assets. The ministry took the opinion of Tanjib-ul-Islam, a company law expert, in this regard.
After the meeting, the commerce secretary told reporters that they have to resort to court to pay Evaly's debts off from money in its bank accounts or by selling its current assets.
If Evaly does not pay liabilities to any customer or merchant, they can file a case with the relevant court or with the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection.
The liabilities of Evaly to customers and merchants have to be settled through court by filing a case against the e-commerce company as per the country's law.
Even the government has no chance to return the money to customers from Evaly's bank accounts without a court order.
According to the Bangladesh Bank's inspection report, Evaly's current asset amounts to Tk65 crore. The ministry is also looking into whether the company or its entrepreneurs have any other assets apart from this, Tapan said.
Responding to a question from reporters, he said they will take actions against Evaly and other e-commerce companies as per the law of the land if they are found to have cheated customers out of their money like what was done in the case of Destiny and Jubok.
The commerce secretary said, "E-commerce companies will not be allowed to receive advance payments from new customers and give products or refunds to old ones. We will incorporate such a provision in the digital commerce guidelines."
In the long run, a new law will be enacted to restore order in the e-commerce sector, he added.
"The e-commerce companies that are not complying with the digital commerce operation guidelines issued on 4 July will be given a show cause notice," he said adding, "We also want to know about their business models. If a company's business model conflicts with the country's law, actions will be taken against that company."
The meeting also decided to set up a central complaint management centre comprising representatives from the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, the E-commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-Cab) and e-commerce companies.
All e-commerce companies, including Facebook-based businesses, will have to register with the commerce ministry, Tapan said, adding that each company will have a separate Business Identification Number, otherwise their sites will be closed through the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
It will take some time for software development, he said.
They have written to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Public Security Division of the home ministry to take legal action against Evaly.
"We have come to know that the ACC has started its activities. But we still do not have any idea about what actions the public security Division has taken."
An official present at the meeting told TBS, "The government is now in a fix over taking any decision on Evaly. No matter if the company closes or continues, Mohammad Rassel and his wife will benefit. The meeting discussed the closure of Evaly's online site, but no decision was made."
After the meeting, Mohammad Abdul Waheed Tamal, general secretary of e-Cab, told TBS that e-Cab will also be involved in reviewing the business models that e-commerce companies will submit to the commerce ministry.
They have already sent show-cause notices to six e-commerce companies, including Evaly, asking them why their membership would not be suspended. They will have to reply within 10 days after receiving the letters, he added.
On the heels of a report published on 22 June by The Business Standard based on the central bank's report on Evaly, a number of banks, including Dhaka Bank, Bank Asia and Brac Bank, suspended the use of their debit, credit and prepaid cards for online transactions with 10 e-commerce companies.
Besides, bKash on Saturday suspended its payment services with 10 online merchants, including Evaly, citing protection of customers' interest as a cause.
The other merchants are Alesha Mart, Dhamaka Shopping, E-orange, Sirajgonj Shop, Aladinerprodip, Qcoom, BoomBoom Shopping, Adyan Mart, and Needs.
Besides, a Dhaka court has imposed a travel ban on Rassel, the managing director of Evaly, and his wife Shamima Nasrin, also the chairman of the company, from travelling abroad amid an ongoing probe into charges of embezzlement against the e-commerce company.