Friday, 28 January 2011

Sharemarket Plunge: HC rebukes SEC chief

The High Court yesterday (January 24) sternly rebuked Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission Ziaul Haque Khandaker for the recent stockmarket crash, and said if such a thing happened in other countries their SEC chairmen would step down.

The bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain also termed the crash in the capital market a conspiracy against the government and the country.
The SEC chairman cannot escape liabilities, said the court.
The bench questioned his competence as his commission used the republic's logo in its letterhead under which it issued an order to suspend trading activities of six stockbrokers.
Since SEC is a statutory body, it cannot use the logo of the Government of the Peoples' Republic of Bangladesh, the court observed.
During the hearing on six writ petitions filed challenging the SEC order to suspend trading activities of six stockbrokers, the HC bench said if the SEC chairman does not withdraw the logo from the letterhead by today, it will direct the inspector general of police to prosecute him under criminal law.
The HC bench told Ziaul Haque, who appeared before the court following a summon, that he committed a criminal offence by using the republic's logo.
The judge said it is matter of common sense, who is allowed to use the logo and who is not.
However, nothing more could be expected from the SEC chairman as he does not understand the difference between a government department and a statutory body, Justice Shamsuddin said.
At one stage, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told the court that the big thieves of the stock market might escape if the SEC chairman is detained.
In response, the court said it is the SEC chief's failure that the thieves are not captured.
Earlier in the day, during hearing of the petitions the bench summoned the SEC chief and asked him to appear before it to explain his stance.
As he appeared before the court around 3:00pm, the bench asked him whether his office is a government department or a statutory body.
Ziaul Haque said SEC is a commission under the government.
As the court asked him why his office had used the logo, he said the office has been using the logo since the tenure of previous chairmen.
After concluding the hearing, the bench fixed today for issuing orders on the petitions filed by the six stockbrokers.
The petitioners are Al Arafah Islami Bank's brokerage unit, Dhaka Bank Securities, NCC Bank Brokerage, PFI Securities, Alliance Securities, and Management and IIDFC Securities.
M Zahir and Rokanuddin Mahmud appeared for the petitioners.
Daily Star

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