High Court denies 4 North South University trustees anticipatory bail, turns them over to police

The High Court has denied a plea by four members of North South University’s Trustee Board to grant them anticipatory bail in a case for allegedly misappropriating more than Tk 3 billion from the university's funds for purchasing land for its campus.

The trustees are MA Kashem, Benajir Ahmed, Rehana Rahman and Mohammed Shajahan.

The Anti-Corruption Commission has charged them with embezzlement and money laundering in the case.

Senior Supreme Court lawyers Ajmalul Hossain QC, AF Hassan Ariff and Fida M Kamal represented the accused during the three-day hearing, which started on Wednesday.

The ACC on May 5 sued six people, including the chairman of the university's Board of Trustees for allegedly misappropriating the university's funds for purchasing land for its campus.

The chairman of NSU's Board of Trustees Azim Uddin Ahmed, trustees Kashem, Benajir, Rehana, and Shajahan, and the MD of Ashaloy Housing and Developers Amin Md Hilaly were charged with embezzlement and money laundering in the case.

According to the case, filed by the ACC Deputy Director Farid Ahmed Patwary, the accused bought 36.81 hectares of land at a low price but provided a much higher estimate to the university authorities with the 'nefarious intention' of embezzling the excess funds.

Initially, they paid the money to the seller, which was then withdrawn by their associates by cheque. The funds were then transferred to the accused, who parked the money in fixed deposit accounts.

The accused in the case have also been charged with several offences relating to criminal misconduct and breach of trust under the Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947.

The Board of Trustees is the highest governing body of NSU under the Private Universities Act 2010.

According to its memorandum and articles of association, the university is a charitable, welfare-oriented, non-commercial and non-profit educational institution.