Yesterday, the High Court wanted to know how the tax is collected on e-commerce platforms and what action has been taken in the allegation of money laundering by companies.
The Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit – the government agency responsible for investigating money laundering, suspicious transactions and reports of cash transactions – has been asked to submit a detailed report within 30 days.
The HC also asked the National Revenue Council to submit a report on how it collects taxes from e-commerce entities and whether it has a tax collection policy for the sector.
At the same time, the HC asked the Ministry of Commerce to inform on the functions and terms of reference of the 16-member committee that was allegedly formed by the ministry on e-commerce scams and to publish a separate report during from the same period.
Judge HC M Enayetur Rahim’s bench and Judge Md Mostafizur Rahman proposed the guidelines after holding a hearing on three separate court motions that sought his guidelines to protect the interests of consumers of e-commerce platforms, including Evaly and Eorange and the monitoring of their Activities.
The bench has set November 8 for the continuation of the hearing and the passage of ordinances on the petitions.
Lawyers Mohammad Shishir Manir, Mohammad Humayun Kabir Pallob and Md Anwarul Islam Badhon presented arguments in favor of the petitioners while Deputy Attorney General Bepul Bagmar opposed the petitions at the hearing.
Manir recently filed a complaint on behalf of 33 aggrieved consumers of Eorange with the HC challenging the failure and inaction of the authorities concerned to take the necessary or preventive measures to protect their rights.
In the petition, they called on the HC to issue a rule asking authorities to explain why their failure and inaction should not be declared illegal and why they should not be asked to take the necessary steps to compensate victims of the electronic commerce platforms, including the petitioner.
They also urged the HC to order the government to form a committee of experts to prepare specific proposals for the protection of the rights and interests of consumers of e-commerce platforms and to submit a report to this tribunal.
On September 20, Supreme Court attorney Md Anwarul Islam Badhon submitted another public interest litigation petition to the HC asking for his directive to the government to form an e-commerce regulatory authority to control the commerce online in the country.
In the petition, he said the National Digital Commerce Policy, 2018 has a mandate to establish an e-commerce regulatory authority, but the government has yet to comply with the mandate.
On September 22, lawyers for SC Mohammad Humayun Kabir Pallob and Mohammad Kawser filed a lawsuit with the HC to form a judicial committee to investigate allegations of embezzlement, money laundering and fraud by problematic e-commerce platforms including Evaly, Alesha Mart, E-orange, Dhamaka, Qcom, Aladiner Prodip and Dalal Plus.
They submitted the petition as a public interest litigation to the HC asking it to form the committee to identify individuals or government authorities whose negligence or failure has caused serious financial loss and damage to millions of customers. .