High Court Orders Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus to Pay Tk119 Crore in Taxes

Last Updated on March 7, 2024 12:29 pm

In a significant development on Thursday, the High Court ruled that Nobel Laureate Dr Muhammad Yunus must pay Tk119 crore in taxes to the National Board of Revenue (NBR). The decision was announced by the High Court bench of Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar and Justice Sardar Md Rashed Jahangir.

The court’s directive requires Dr Yunus, who serves as the Grameen Telecom chairman, to settle the total taxes from 2011 to the next five years. Assistant Attorney General Tahmina Polly informed the media about the verdict, emphasizing the court’s decision after settling a case filed by Dr Yunus challenging the tax demanded by the NBR.

This recent ruling follows a case filed against Dr Yunus and seven others accused of embezzling approximately Tk25 crore from dividends reserved for Grameen Telecom workers. On March 3, Dr Yunus and the co-accused were granted bail upon surrendering to the authorities.

Last May, the High Court found Dr Yunus guilty of tax evasion, ordering him to pay over Tk12 crore to the NBR after a hearing on charges spanning from 2011 to 2013. Dr Yunus had contested the validity of the NBR’s notice demanding around Tk15 crore in taxes on donations.

In June 2023, the Yunus Centre released a rejoinder addressing news articles about Dr Yunus’ tax payments. The organization clarified that his income primarily derived from honorariums for lectures, book sales, and prize monies, all of which were brought through proper banking channels. The statement highlighted Dr Yunus’ decision to create two trusts, emphasizing his commitment to philanthropy and family welfare.

Yunus Centre argued that the tax-related decisions were made in consultation with tax advisors, aiming to ensure the safety of the funds in trusts. The organization asserted that there was no question of tax evasion, emphasizing that Dr Yunus had approached the court seeking a decision on the interpretation of tax laws.

While the lower court has given a verdict in favor of paying the tax, Yunus Centre noted that Dr Yunus has the option to pay the tax or appeal to the higher court for further judgment. The think tank reiterated Dr Yunus’ commitment to using the funds for the benefit of people and the planet, with his sole concern being the fulfillment of legal obligations.

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