Hearing in tax evasion case against pro-Pakistani Bangladeshi leader postponed
A bench of Judge Syed Refat Ahmed and Judge Mohammad Mahbub-ul-Islam issued the order in favor of Hossain, whose attorney Tanim Hossain Shaon has asked for more time. Deputy Attorney General Pratikar Chakma represented the state.
Hossain filed the writ petition last week challenging the tax appeals court’s order.
The National Board of Revenue claimed that Hossain’s law firm in 2018-2019 posted an annual income of BDT 10 million against which he paid BDT 7.6 million as taxes. In December 2019, the Deputy Commissioner of Tax claimed that the company actually earned BDT 200 million and should pay BDT 60 million in taxes and interest, as the leader of Gana Forum discloses barely 5 % of his actual annual income in his tax returns.
On December 30, 2019, Hossain appealed to the relevant co-commissioner against the deputy commissioner’s order, but it was dismissed.
He then appealed to the Taxes Appeal Tribunal against the Joint Commissioner’s order and then to the High Court Division as it was dismissed.
The tax evasion case became a stain on Hossain who was projected the alternative to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by the Islamist opposition in 2018 polls.
Hossain’s political career has been marked by a 360-degree about-face – from foreign minister under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he now heads the Gana Front which in 2018 crafted an opposition platform Jatiyo Oikyo Front, in which the BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami, a fundamentalist party made up of convicted war criminals, were included.
Then he was accused of betraying the secular values of the 1971 war of liberation and bowing to Islamist parties to quench his thirst for power.
According to his critics, Hossain may try to use his stature to avoid questions about his ties to anti-liberation forces, but he is neither above the law and has an explanation for his political pirouettes.
They alleged that the huge undisclosed amount in Hossain’s account could reveal dark secrets – huge funds paid into his accounts after he agreed to be the face of the Islamist opposition during the national elections.
It also remains to be seen if any of this undisclosed income comes from foreign sources, with his British son-in-law David Bergman overdrive to cast him as Sheikh Hasina’s alternative with the apparent backing of fundamentalist group Jamaat-e Islami and its key. . BNP ally.
After all, Bergman has already gained notoriety for receiving funds from anti-liberation quarters to stop the trial of war criminals, pro-liberation activists say, while on the other hand, he could serve as a link between Hossain and BNP’s current interim president, Tareq Rahman. , presented as the symbol of violent politics in an American cable made public by Wikileaks.