The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court directed a Kushtia businessman to return properties worth Tk123 crore, which he bought at an auction organised by the Brac Bank, to Shafiqul Islam, another businessman from the same district.
The Brac Bank sold the properties despite a High Court stay order to recover a defaulted loan worth Tk51 crore from Shafiqul.
During an appeal hearing on Wednesday, a bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique also directed Shafiqul to repay the loan to the bank within six months. He will get his properties back two weeks after the loan repayment.
Further, Abdur Rashid, the businessman who bought the properties at the auction, has been directed to pay Tk50 lakh to Shafiqul as compensation.
However, if Shafiqul fails to pay the loan within the stipulated time, his petition filed with the High Court seeking a stay order on the auction would be dismissed. The contempt of court case against the parties involved in the auction would also be dismissed consequently, the Appellate Division bench said.
Barrister Raghib Rauf Chowdhury, Shafiqul’s lawyer, said, “The total loan of the Brac Bank to businessman Shafiqul including principal and interest is Tk51 crore. He has already paid around Tk4.5 crore. The remaining amount should be paid in six months. Then he will get back his properties.”
Selim F Hussain, CEO and managing director at the Brac Bank told The Business Standard, “The Appellate Division’s verdict is in our favour. If the court takes more steps like this, the amount of non-performing loans in our country will decrease. We have taken the order positively.”
According to sources, Shafiqul Islam took a loan of Tk42 crore from the Poradah branch of the Brac Bank in Kushtia in 2016 by mortgaging some properties.
As he failed to pay instalments of the loan during the Covid-19 period, the bank arranged an auction to sell the mortgaged properties including Messrs Biswas Traders, VIP Rice Mills and VIP Flour Mills.
On 2 August 2022, the court issued a stay order on the auction for three months based on a writ petition filed by Shafiqul.
The court also asked him to pay Tk20 crore to the bank within one month and Tk6 crore more within one year.
Despite the court’s order, the bank sold the properties worth Tk123 crore to Abdur Rashid at only Tk15 crore.
Later, Shafiqul Islam filed a contempt of court case against the parties involved in the auction.
On 11 August 2022, the High Court summoned Selim F Hussain, managing director of the Brac Bank, Mohammad Saidul Islam, deputy commissioner of Kushtia, Md Khairul Alam, superintendent of police of Kushtia, businessman Abdur Rashid and another person for their involvement in selling the properties at auction, violating a stay order.
Abdur Rashid, the businessman who purchased properties at the auction, applied to the Appellate Division seeking a stay on the decision of the High Court. The appeal was heard on Wednesday.