HC forming board to assess Evaly liabilities
The High Court yesterday called for a four-member interim board to be formed at the earliest for assessing the liabilities of Evaly, in a development that can bring some solace to the thousands of aggrieved customers and vendors of the controversial e-commerce platform.
The board, which will most likely be formed today, will consist of a retired justice, a jurist, a secretary and a chartered accountant to make decisions and assess liabilities of the company, as per the decision of the bench of Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar.
The court sought names of three former or incumbent secretaries and one additional secretary from the commerce ministry to choose one of them as a board member, reports UNB.
The development comes after the Registrar of the Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC) submitted all documents of Evaly on October 11 as per a court order following an application filed last month by a disgruntled customer named Md Farhad Hossain.
Hossain, who ordered a washing machine on Evaly but never received the item, sought the necessary directives for winding up the company and settling the dues.
Evaly, the RJSC, the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit, the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, bKash, Nagad, the Bangladesh Competition Commission, the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB), the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), the Bangladesh Bank and the commerce secretary were made defendants to Farhad's petition.
Following an earlier hearing on the petition on September 22, the High Court put a moratorium on the sale or transfer of all movable and immovable properties of Evaly.
The court also issued a ruling asking why a liquidator should not be appointed to wind down the e-commerce platform immediately.
"Disposing of the liquidation application of Evaly will be a lengthy process and in the meantime, there is no one to take decisions on the company as both the directors are currently in jail. Hence, the court made the suggestion," said AKM Badruddoza, the RJSC's lawyer.
Evaly Chief Executive Officer Mohammad Rassel and Chairperson Shamima Nasrin are in jail since September 16.
According to Evaly's own assessment, it has assets amounting to Tk 121 crore, while it owes customers and merchants more than Tk 1,000 crore.
The company took money in advance payments, luring people with massive discounts on products on its site and promising delivery within 7-45 days. However, many buyers are yet to receive the items they ordered even after the promised delivery deadline.
In some cases, Evaly offered refund cheques to customers following their failure to deliver, but in many cases, the cheques bounced because of insufficient funds in Evaly's bank account.
Subsequently, several cases have been filed against Rassel and Nasrin on allegations of embezzlement and cheque fraud.