The High Court today (May 22) sent four trustees of North South University (NSU) to police custody after rejecting their bail petitions in a graft case involving embezzlement of funds and money laundering.
Earlier in the day, the HC asked police to produce the trustees to lower court within 24hrs after hearing on bail petitions filed by them seeking anticipatory bail.
A division bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo passed the order today.
On May 5, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) sued NSU trustee board Chairman Azim Uddin Ahmed, members Benajir Ahmed, MA Kashem, Rehana Rahman and Mohammed Shajahan, and Ashaloy Housing and Developers Ltd Managing Director Amin Md Hilaly for embezzling Tk 303.82 crore of the university.
The accused misappropriated the money in the name of purchasing 9,096.88 decimals of land in Rupganj of Narayanganj in connivance with one another.
Earlier, the ACC initiated investigation into the trustees following a complaint filed by Dr Sufi Sagar Sams, Adviser of the Protection for Legal and Human Rights Foundation.
Out of six accused, four members of the Trustee Board of the NSU moved to the HC seeking anticipatory bail to avoid arrest in connection with the case.
The HC started hearing on the bail petitions on Wednesday and heard arguments of the lawyers of the petitioners, counsel of ACC and Attorney General.
Appearing for the petitioners, Barrister Ajmalul Hossain QC, Barrister Fida M Kamal and AF Hassan Arif said the clients need anticipatory bail to avoid arrest and police harassment.
ACC counsel Khurshid Alam Khan opposed bail on the ground that the trustees committed syndicated crimes by embezzling and laundering the funds. Besides, the trustees also committed cognizable offences which are not bailable.
Citing the case dossier, he said the accused made the transactions for the land from 2014 to 2016. The trustees spent Tk 500 crore of the university through overvaluation of the land. They paid Tk 303, 82,13,497 more than the actual price.
Later, land owner Amin Md Hilaly paid back the money to the trustee members personally as bribes. The NSU trustees made the transaction bypassing the syndicate, University Grants Commission and the Ministry of Education. They are facing more allegations and investigation into those is underway.
Talking to reporters, Dr Sufi Sagar Sams said, “Main accused NSU trustee board Chairman Azim Uddin Ahmed might have fled the country. Four others are trying to obtain bail on the pretext of illness. If they get bail, they will go abroad to escape arrest.”
BDST: 1714 HRS, MAY 22, 2022