Next hearing on November 23
The High Court on Tuesday expressed discontent as the authorities concerned failed to submit reports on steps taken against money laundering by e-commerce firms and the policy to collect tax and VAT from the firms on time.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Md Mostafizur Rahman expressed their dissatisfaction during a hearing on three writ petitions filed by victims of fraud by e-commerce companies.
The bench said the court would take the matter seriously as the government bodies concerned did not respond to the notice issued by the High Court.
The court asked Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar to inform the attorney general of the matter. It then set November 23 for the next hearing and extended the time for submission of the reports till then.
Earlier on September 30, the court asked the Ministry of Commerce, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) to submit separate reports on money laundering by the e-commerce platforms by November 8.
The court asked BFIU to inform it of the steps taken on money laundering by e-commerce firms and also wanted to know from NBR its policy on collecting VAT and tax from these firms.
The court also inquired about the area of work of the 16-member technical committee formed by the Commerce Ministry for the e-commerce sector.
Lawyers Mohammad Shishir Monir, Md Anwarul Islam and Pallob Kabir M Humaun appeared for the petitioners, while Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar represented the state during the hearing.
Earlier on September 20, Supreme Court lawyer Anwarul Islam filed a writ petition seeking its directive on creating an independent e-commerce monitoring institute to protect the interest and rights of customers of e-commerce.
On September 22, SC lawyer Mohammad Humayun Kabir filed a petition seeking its directive on forming a probe-committee to find out the responsible individual or government authority whose negligence or failure has caused lakhs of consumers monetary losses from renowned e-commerce like Evaly, e-orange, Dhamaka, Daraz, Qcoom, Aladiner Prodip, Alesha Mart, and Dalal Plus.
On September 23, thirty-three consumers of e-orange filed a writ to get back their money from the company.
The petition was filed by advocate Shishir Monir, seeking a travel ban on the senior officials and authorities of risky e-commerce companies such as e-orange, as well as a committee for protecting the interests of both the customers and companies, coordinated by economists, IT experts, and stakeholders.