PLSFL defaulters must repay, says High Court

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-02-26 03:19:44 BdST


The people who defaulted on repayment of loans taken from the People’s Leasing and Financial Services Ltd or PLSFL must pay back, the High Court has said.

The court warned the defaulters that they must work within the remits of law and influence of ministers or others will not work in this case.

It ordered them to repay the first instalment before beginning discussion on how the full repayment will go ahead; otherwise their pleas for rescheduling will not be accepted.

Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar passed the orders on Thursday after hearing statements of some of the defaulters in the second phase.

The court summoned 280 of the people who had defaulted on repayment of loans worth more than Tk 500,000 from PLFSL following a list prepared by Md Asaduzzaman Khan, a probational liquidator for the firm.

They were asked why they will not be ordered to explain the default loans.

As many as 51 of the 143 defaulters appeared in the court in the first phase on Tuesday.

On Thursday, 45 of the rest turned out.

“The work can begin once you repay a portion of the money,” Justice Sarkar said, ordering them to clear the first instalment within the next hearing on Mar 9. “Those who had deposited money in PLFSL are spending their days haplessly.”

He also ordered the Bangladesh Bank to unfreeze their bank accounts only for the repayment when a defaulter noted that he was regularly clearing the instalments until his account was frozen following a court order in January 2019.

“I’ve been telling them (central bank and Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission) for two years to form a board or a committee (for the repayment). The court cannot do this. It is hampering my regular work. I’ve been waiting for two years to see what the Bangladesh Bank and SEC do,” the judge said.

Noting that only one liquidator and a legal advisor are working on the issue, he pointed out that there will be additional costs for monthly payments and office rents if a committee of 10 people is formed.

Speaking to a defaulter, Justice Sarkar said, “The influence of ministers or others will not work here if you do not repay. You must repay within the law. Now pay an instalment and then discuss the rest with the board or committee.”

The default loans from PLFSL total over Tk 16.55 billion.

Proshanta Kumar Halder, a former managing director of the International Leasing and Financial Services Limited or ILFSL and NRB Global Bank, fled abroad after embezzling a huge sum from ILFSL, PLFSL, FAS Finance and Investment Company, and Bangladesh Industrial Finance Company.

The High Court on Jan 5 slapped a travel ban on 25 people, including former Bangladesh Bank deputy governor SK Sur Chowdhury, while hearing a writ petition filed by five of the PLFSL clients who had lost their money in the scam.

The Anti-Corruption Commission has arrested a number of people on charges of abetting Halder’s crimes.