The Financial Express

Stock market tribunal didn't have a single case to deal with in past three years

| Updated: March 05, 2021 13:33:19

Stock market tribunal didn't have a single case to deal with in past three years

A special tribunal created only to deal with stock market-related cases is having an idle time since it does not have any work to do, according to tribunal sources.

The situation has been more or less the same for the last three years.

They said the tribunal had heard its last case in April 2018..

"The officials concerned have been passing idle time since April 2018, as the tribunal did not have to deal with any case," said a source preferring anonymity.

With a note of frustration, the officials and lawyers said the tribunal will become active again, if the securities regulator takes active move to transfer cases from other courts to the tribunal.

Apart from paying the salary to two permanent officials, the government has to bear the cost of around Tk 160,000 per month on floor rent and other services that have been outsourced.

The government formed the special tribunal in 2012, in line with the Sub-section (1) of the Section 25 (B) of the Securities and Exchange Ordinance 1969, for quick disposal of the capital market-related cases filed under the ordinance.

Later, the tribunal started its hearing on June 21, 2015 through the hearing of a case filed against online tipster Mahbub Sarwar by the securities regulator in 2010.

After completion of trial, the tribunal in its maiden verdict on August 03, 2015, jailed the accused for two years, as he was found guilty of manipulating stock prices using social media sites in 2010.

Earlier, a total of 25 cases, including some related to the 1996 stock market scam, were transferred to the tribunal for hearing.

Of the cases, ten were settled on completion of trial. The hearing of eleven cases was stayed by the High Court (HC).

Two cases were sent back to the previous lower court, as the tribunal did not have judicial jurisdiction over those cases. The remaining two cases were quashed in the HC.

The former securities regulator chairman Faruq Ahmad Siddiqi said the establishment of a full-time tribunal to settle a limited number of cases was not properly justified.

"I find no logic behind the establishment of the tribunal by spending public fund for a limited number of cases. The securities regulator should try to facilitate the tribunal in continuing its operation," he opined.

However, spokesperson of the securities regulator Mohammad Rezaul Karim said their lawyers are working to transfer cases from the upper court to the tribunal.

"The regulator will work to transfer cases from other courts to the tribunal. In future, the regulator might think of filing cases directly with the tribunal," Mr. Karim told the FE.

Advocate Masud Rana, the securities regulator lawyer, said some cases, transferred to the tribunal, were stayed by the HC.

"One case was stayed by the HC following a plea made the securities regulator, as it needed time to collect evidence against the accused. The HC stayed some other cases following plea from the accused persons."

He also said a significant number of certificate cases were filed with the lower court by the securities regulator.

"The tribunal on stock market has no judicial jurisdiction to settle the certificate cases. I think the securities regulator should take active initiatives to expand the jurisdiction of the tribunal to settle all capital market-related cases."

The regulatory move is also required to bring back the cases, which were stayed by the HC, he noted.

After establishment, two judges were transferred from the tribunal to other courts.

Presently, Hasina Roushon Jahan is the judge of the tribunal, set up in the building of Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation in the capital.

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