Dhaka, Dec 03: The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Sunday halted the proceedings of a High Court verdict that declared illegal a Labour Appellate Tribunal verdict asking Nobel laureate professor Muhammad Yunus’ Grameen Telecom to pay benefits to 105 sacked workers.
Chamber judge M Enayetur Rahim passed the order responding to a government appeal against the HC verdict. The judge also set December 5 to hear the appeal by the full court.
On November 30, a HC bench of Justice Zafar Ahmed and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman pronounced the verdict in favour of Yunus following a writ petition filed by Grameen Kalyan managing director AKM Mohiuddin Chowdhury.
Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is chairman of Grameen Telecom.
Grameen Kalyan challenged the Labour Appellate Tribunal’s verdict that asked Grameen Telecom to pay service benefits from the Workers Participation Fund and the Workers Welfare Fund to 105 workers who were sacked in 2011.
The High Court in the verdict said that the tribunal was empowered only to settle the dispute between the Grameen Telecom and the workers over the payment of the service benefits of the 105 workers, while the labour court was empowered to give verdicts whether the 105 former Grameen Telecom workers were entitled to get the service benefits.
The High Court further observed that the sacked workers had not filed a case with the Labour Court claiming their service benefits rather they went to the tribunal bypassing the court.
Lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan appeared for the sacked workers while Abdullah Al Mamun defended Yunus on Sunday.
Earlier on April 3, 2023 Labour Appellate Tribunal ordered the Grameen Telecom to pay service benefits from the Workers Participation Fund and the Workers Welfare Fund to 105 sacked workers.
On May 30, the High Court in a rule asked the government to explain why the tribunal’s decision would not be declared illegal.
The High Court also asked the government to maintain status quo for six months on the Labour Appellate Tribunal decision that asked Grammen Telecom to pay the sacked workers benefits of the profit of the company since 2006.
The company claimed that the employees were entitled to get benefits of the shares of the telecom since 2013, while the workers claimed that they were entitled to get benefits from 2006 when the labour law was enacted.
On June 22, the Appellate Division lifted a High Court’s status quo on the payment of benefits to 105 Grameen Telecom workers.
The Appellate Division also asked the High Court to immediately dispose of a High Court rule relating to Yunus’ matter.