The High Court favours appointing a retired judge as an independent director and chairman of the embattled International Leasing and Financial Services.
The single-member bench of Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar made the observation on Tuesday, a day after Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled resigned from the posts. The court set today for further hearing on the matter.
The non-bank financial institution faces the allegation of embezzling Tk3,500 crore of depositors.
Advocate Mahfuzur Rahman Milon, a counsel for the ILFS, on Tuesday presented Khaled's resignation before the court as an affidavit.
Lawyer AF Hasan Arif was present at the court for a hearing on a petition against the freezing of bank accounts and the seizure of passports of the company's directors.
The court told him, "The post is now vacant following the resignation of Ibrahim Khaled. We are thinking about appointing a retired Supreme Court justice to the post. The appointee should have understanding on company issues."
The court requested Hasan Arif to submit a list of several experienced retired judges to the court.
The justice further said, "The International Leasing and Financial Services was once one of the top non-banking financial institutions. The share price of the company listed with the stock market rose up to Tk2,500 against the face value of Tk10. But the institution is now in trouble due to some people. The company still has enough fund and that is why it is possible to save it."
He also said, "Proshanto Kumar Halder – a much-talked-about person of the institution – has laundered a big amount abroad. But other directors are still here. We, the court, are trying to save the institution. That is why we had persuaded Ibrahim to take the charge."
Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar said he has already talked to retired justice Abdur Rashid about his appointment to the post. "He has not yet agreed. But we are in communication with him. We want to appoint an experienced and honest person as the chairman who will work to protect the institution and will not look for his personal interest."
Lawyer Mahfuzur Rahman Milon said to the court that Ibrahim Khaled joined the company on February 5 and held two board meetings, and at the latest meeting he took a plan to save the company.
Complying with a court order, lawyers presented a list of borrowers who have taken more than Tk10 lakh from the company. The list shows that PK Halder received around Tk170 crore against five organisations.
Acting on a petition by seven investors, the High Court on January 21 asked the authorities to freeze the bank accounts and seize the passports of 20 people including PK Halder.
At that time, the court directed the Bangladesh Bank to appoint Ibrahim Khaled as an independent director and chairman of the company.