Tabith Awal repaid Tk 25mn loan after deadline passed: Sonali Bank

Dhaka North City Corporation mayor aspirant Tabith Mohammed Awal repaid Tk 25 million loan after the deadline was over, according to Sonali Bank Limited.

Shaikh Abdullahbdnews24.com
Published : 7 April 2015, 01:30 PM
Updated : 7 April 2015, 03:22 PM

The nationalised commercial bank in a letter to the election appeals authority said his father, the BNP chief’s Adviser Abdul Awal Mintoo, was also considered a defaulter as the bondsman of the loan.
 
The Election Commission is organising the elections to the Dhaka North, Dhaka South and Chittagong City Corporations on Apr 28.
 
Law bars anyone who has defaulted on repaying loans from contesting in the elections.
 
Dhaka’s divisional commissioner, the EC-appointed appeals authority, is scheduled to hear the Sonali Bank’s loan default charges against Tabith at 7:30pm Tuesday.
 
Divisional Commissioner Zillar Rahman will decide whether his nomination will be sustained.

The EC earlier had asked all banks through the central bank for loan default information on the candidates. 

EC officials said there would be no bar to contest in the polls if the candidate had paid back the loan or rescheduled it before nomination submission.

Sonali Bank claimed although Tabith repaid his loan on Apr 2, three days had passed after the Mar 29 deadline for the submissions, which technically made him a defaulter.

However, the report sent by Bangladesh Bank’s Credit Information Bureau to the EC listed 93 candidates as loan defaulters. Tabith was not amongst them.

A CIB official, on condition of anonymity, said the report they had sent to the EC was based on the information they gathered from all scheduled banks and financial institutions. 

“We sent the information we were given.”

Tabith’s name came up as a loan defaulter after speculations about him getting the BNP’s backing arose.

His father Mintoo, an adviser to BNP chief Khaleda Zia, went off the mayor race after the EC scrapped his nomination.

Returning Officer of Dhaka North city polls Mihir Sarwar Morshed cancelled Mintoo’s nomination last week as Abdur Razzak, the supporter he named in his documents, was not a Dhaka City Corporation voter. 

The BNP leader then appealed to the Dhaka Divisional Commissioner Rahman, who heard it on Saturday, but did not overrule the EC decision.

Mintoo, then, moved the High Court on Sunday but his appeal was turned down the next day. 

On Tuesday, he went to the Supreme Court for a stay on the HC rejection . A full-bench of the top appeals court is scheduled to hear the matter on Thursday.

Sonali Bank’s letter to Zillar Rahman claimed that Tabith had Tk 24.8 million worth of classified loans with their branch in Bangladesh Shilpa Bank Bhaban until Apr 1. 

The loan was taken in the name of a subsidiary of Multimode group, M/S Q&Q (Bangladesh) Limited, of which Tabith is Managing Director.

“He was on the bank’s ‘Bankers Book of Account’ as a defaulter on the date,” Manager of the branch, Shudhan Chandra Das, said in his letter.

He added that on Apr 2, Tabith had paid back the loan in cash and pay orders.

Manager Das told bdnews24.com they had informed the EC in line with the law and their lawyers would be attending the hearing later in the evening.

When asked why they had not informed the EC before, he said, “We have informed them in time. Our officials and I personally went to the commission office.

“So it would not be right to say we did not inform them in time.”

Tabith’s lawyer Ehsanur Rahman told bdnews24.com on Tuesday evening, “We are going to the appeal hearing. We will present our stand there.”

Tabith did not declare the loan in the affidavit that he filed to the returning officer.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher