By Sumi Khan
Dhaka, Nov 10 (SocialNews.XYZ) Reacting angrily when confronted with uncomfortable questions over his reported tax evasion, Bangladesh Opposition leader Kamal Hossain avoided journalists and told them not to ask him "questions".
Bangladesh netizens questioned "Are Kamal and his daughter above the law"? as Hossain avoided questions on his alleged concealment of income with a harsh tone...
The Bangladesh Opposition leader, his daughter Sara Hossain and his son-in-law and Pakistan paid war criminal's shed David Bergman are embroiled in a wave of fresh controversy as the 80-year-old politician apparently failed to hold back his anger in the face of questions from local journalists over his reported concealment of substantial income from legal services.
He also sidestepped questions about his son-in-law, a known controversial activist Bergman's consistent role in support of self-confessed and convicted war criminals and ceaseless smears against current Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her family members through offshore outlets.
Hossain was asked questions when he was participating in a Jahangirnagar University programme on the 50th anniversary of the country's first constitution organised by its politics and government Department.
He was then asked about Bergman's consistent support to anti-liberation elements beginning with his opposition to the war crimes' trials.
"Your son-in-law claims to be an independent journalist but don't you see any conflict of interest over Bergman's writings in favour of war criminals as those elements belonged to Jamaat-e-Islami and leaders from that very party took part in last national election under your leadership," asked journalists.
Hossain avoided giving any answer but left the view exchange fuming and without answering.
However, Kamal's response to other questions like the state of country's democracy drew widespread condemnation from netizens also, with some commenting "he (Kamal) conveniently refrained from answering such question".
Since its initiation Netra News, an offshore outlet where Bergman works as an Editor-in-Chief, reportedly endured a litany of condemnations by local and regional outlets with the biggest blow the outlet suffered for its refusal to offer corrections as it predicted "millions" of death in the wake of Covid-19 in Bangladesh. Among other such outright lies, that very outlet also professed a "vaccines will never arrive and Sheikh Hasina will be responsible for it".
In a stark contrast to such grim projections, the youngest nation in Southward Asia, ranked one of the top 10 performers in the globe in Covid-19 management, as vindicated in Bloomberg index, and also achieved the ambitious target set by WHO vaccinating 70 per cent of the entire population despite not being a vaccine producing nation.
The fresh round of controversy surrounding Kamal and his daughter Sara surfaced in last few days following media expose about Kamal securing more than $2,00,000 from overseas arbitration, but such hefty incomes have not been shown in his income tax returns for the relevant assessment year.
This expose has given rise to fresh questions over a High Court order for maintenance of status quo on the pending case against the Hossains' for allegedly concealing their law firm's income.
Arshad Hossain, an expert did not also rule out the possibilities of a "biased" ruling on part of the High court, since the Hossains' practised there and were known to wield much influence in the court.
In response to recent expose a tax lawyer from Bangladesh, said: "Hossain's most recent tax evasion transgressions appears to be his misleading the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, where he practices as a senior advocate. The case concerns allegation of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) that Kamal Hossain and his daughter, Sara Hossain, through their law firm, surreptitiously evaded more than 6.85 crore Taka in tax payment in the 2018-2019 tax year."
Under section 17 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 1984, the total income of any assessment year of any person includes all income, from whatever source derived, which is received or deemed to be received in Bangladesh by or on behalf of such person in such year or accrues or arises to him outside Bangladesh during that year, cited another lawyer
"There are very few instances where the High Court has interfered with the working of a tax tribunal. Kamal and Sara Hossain are rare beneficiaries of the exercise of such powers by the High Court. In the case of ordinary citizens such powers are almost never exercised by the courts to protect tax dodgers," the advocate added.
So the crux of the case is that, for the assessment year 2018/2019, the NBR found irregularities in two Standard Chartered Bank accounts, being account No. 01-1825445-03 and account No. 01-1825445-04 owned and operated by the father and daughter, reports another daily.