HC questions the legitimacy of Nagad’s license

The High Court questioned the legitimacy of the license of Nagad, a mobile money company under the Bangladesh Post.

Following a writ hearing on Wednesday, Judge Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Judge Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo of the High Court issued a rule asking why Nagad’s license would not be revoked.

Attorney Kamal Hossain Miaji represented the motion for an order, while Deputy Attorney General Aravind Kumar Ray represented the state, reports bdnews24.com.

Supreme Court lawyers Md Abu Bakar Siddiquee and Md Hasanuzzaman filed the public interest petition on October 27.

Judges asked on Wednesday why Nagad’s business activities, which had been operating “illegally and without approval” since it received a temporary license from the central bank in 2019 as a mobile financial services company, would not be declared illegal in under the 2018 and 2022 regulations.

The High Court bench also questioned why Nagad’s temporary registration would not be revoked.

The Finance Secretary, the Governor of the Bangladesh Bank, the Director General of the Central Bank’s Payment System Department, the Director General of the Post Office, the Director General of Nagad and the editors of The Daily Star , The New Age and The Business Standard face a four-week deadline to meet the rule.

Lawyer Kamal later said that the 2018 MFS regulations state that a company must be an associated entity of a commercial bank to provide such services, which Nagad never was.

Citing a change in regulations this year, Kamal said service companies are now allowed to be part of a financial institution or any government organization or agency, in addition to being connected to a bank.

Nagad had not yet associated with any of them, he said.

On Nagad identifying itself as an associated entity of Bangladesh Post, Kamal said, “Nagad is not associated with the post. We collected Nagad’s documents from the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Companies and submitted them to the court.

“Bangladesh Post Office doesn’t even own 1% of Nagad.”

He said a bank, financial institution or government agency or organization must own at least 51% of mobile money companies or have controlling shares to make them legitimate.

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