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Imran Abdullah Siddiq

Imran Siddiq specialises in representing and advising clients in commercial and employment/labour law related disputes using an administrative law framework. He has a substantial practice in public law. He also has a strong track record of advising and representing clients in the telecommunication sector.
 

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS:

LL.B (Hons.) London School of Economics and Political Science

BSc. (Hons), Politics and International Relations (First Class), University of London

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS:

2007:  Enrolled as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.

2005:  Enrolled as an Advocate by the Bangladesh Bar Council.

2004:  Called to the Bar of England and Wales from the Hon’ble Society of Gray’s Inn.

WORK EXPERIENCE:

2005-2010:  Associate, The Law Counsel 

2011-2015:  Senior Associate, The Law Counsel

2016-       :  Partner, The Law Counsel

PRACTICE AREAS:

Constitutional and Administrative Law, Employment and Labour Law, Commercial and Corporate Law, Telecommunications Law, International Criminal Law

CONSTITUTIONAL & ADMINISTRATIVE LAW:     

Extensive experience in appearing before the High Court in judicial review applications for enforcement of fundamental rights. Appeared in landmark cases involving interpretation of constitutionally protected fundamental rights. Regularly represent clients in commercial and employment law related disputes using an administrative law framework.

Notable Cases:

  • Represented a resident of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in challenging the constitutionality of a Peace Accord executed between the Government of Bangladesh and representatives of the tribal population of CHT and various discriminatory provisions of the District Council and Regional Council legislations. The High Court struck down the Regional Council Act and the District Council legislations as being discriminatory and contrary to the basic features of the Constitution (Md. Badiuzzaman vs Bangladesh and others, reported in 15 BLC 531).
  • Represented members of the Supreme Court Bar Association in challenging the constitutionality of the Contempt of Courts Ordinance, 2007. The High Court judgment, which struck down the legislation, discusses the scope of inherent power of the Supreme Court, the principle of separation of powers and the power of the legislature to define ‘contempt of court’ (M Shamsul Huq and others vs Bangladesh and others, reported in 15 BLC 236).
  • Represented members of the civil society in a public interest litigation for formulation of a National Strategy Policy for ensuring appropriate participating interest for the State in Production Sharing Contracts (Shah Abdul Hannan vs Bangladesh, reported in 16 BLC 386).
  • Acted for a Muslim cleric for enforcement of his fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression in issuing ‘fatwas’ or religious opinions. The Supreme Court judgment established the right of Muftis to issue authoritative opinions on matters of religion (Md. Tayeeb and another vs Bangladesh,, reported in 67 DLR (AD) 57).
  • Advised and acted for members of the Supreme Court Bar Association as Interveners in a proceedings challenging the constitutionality of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution of Bangladesh. The Interveners questioned the identification of ‘secularism’, ‘socialism’ and ‘nationalism’ as basic features or structural pillars of the Bangladesh Constitution (Khandaker Delwar Hossain and others vs Bangladesh Italian Marble Works and others, reported in 62 DLR (AD) 298).  
  • Represented an Islamist political party in a proceeding challenging the decision of the Election Commission to de-register the political party preventing it from contesting the parliamentary elections in a landmark case which involved consideration of the principles of democracy, political pluralism and the limits of the fundamental right of freedom to form associations (Moulana Syed Rezaul Haque vs Bangladesh, reported in 66 DLR 14).  
  • Represented a Bangladeshi expatriate in a proceeding challenging refusal of authorities to renew his passport preventing him from travelling to and from Bangladesh. The High Court judgment involved interpretation of a citizen’s constitutionally protected fundamental right of freedom of movement which was being violated by the passport authorities (Mohammad Nadimur Rahman vs Bangladesh and others, Writ Petition No. 10602 of 2011).
  • Represented employees of a multinational company successfully in a proceeding filed against the Board of Trustees of the company for payment of the workers’ share of the profits. The High Court judgment expanded the scope of administrative law to allow legal challenges against decisions of entities functioning under a statute, although not established under a statute (Md. Mehedi Hasan vs. Bangladesh, reported in 19 BLC 472).
  • Represented a stock dealer in a judicial review application challenging the constitutionality of a statutory directive issued by the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission imposing restrictions on trading activities (Paramount Securities Ltd. vs Securities and Exchange Commission and others, Writ Petition No. 10557 of 2012).

                                                                                             

EMPLOYMENT & LABOUR LAW:     

Regularly advise employees of statutory public bodies and private organizations regarding interpretation of service regulations and enforcement of their rights under the relevant employment contracts. Provide legal advice to government and semi-government organizations regarding interpretation of employment contracts and service regulations. Appeared before the Administrative Appellate Tribunal and the High Court Division in complicated employment and labour law related disputes

Recently, was involved in and won a protracted litigation on behalf of a dismissed bank employee who was restored full service benefits by the High Court.

Notable Cases:

  • Represented the Managing Director of a leading private bank successfully in a litigation challenging his removal from office by the Central Bank (C M Koyes Sami vs Bangladesh Bank and others, reported in 2 LCLR [2013] Vol. 1 HCD 15).
  • Represented Bangladesh Biman Corporation, the national flag carrier, successfully in a litigation instituted by contractual employees of Biman claiming absorption as permanent employees (Md. Abdul Bari vs Bangladesh Biman and others, reported in 63 DLR 27).
  • Represented Bangladesh Biman successfully in a litigation instituted by a terminated flight attendant seeking reinstatement in service (Rubina Parveen vs Bangladesh Biman Corporation and another, Writ Petition No. 1184 of 2005)
  • Represented an employee of a Bank who was dismissed from service in violation of the Bank Service Regulations.  The High Court judgment, which set aside the order of dismissal, restored full service benefits to the claimant (Md. Mostafizur Rahman vs Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank and others, reported in 20 BLC 662).
  • Represented over 200 employees of Bangladesh Biman Corporation challenging their forced retirement under a ‘Voluntary Retirement Scheme’ in violation of the Biman Service Regulations (Md. Farooque Ahmed vs Bangladesh Biman and others, reported in 3 CLR 350).
  • Represented a member of the Bangladesh Air Force dismissed in court martial proceedings under the Air Force Act in a judicial review application (S M Emdadul Huq vs Bangladesh and others, Writ Petition No. 4935 of 2008).
  • Represented National Curriculum and Textbook Board successfully in a litigation instituted by a dismissed employee seeking reinstatement after being found guilty of misappropriation of the Board’s funds (Nurul Huq Khan vs National Curriculum and Textbook Board and others, Writ Petition No. 474 of 2003).
  • Represented KAFCO successfully in a proceeding instituted by a dismissed employee for payment of the worker’s participation profits (Md. Jafarullah vs Dr. Peter Allen May, Managing Director, KAFCO, Other Suit No. 81 of 2005).
  • Represented an employee of a University in a litigation instituted for recovery of unpaid wages and remunerations (Dr. Shafiqur Rahman vs International Islamic University, Chittagong and others, BLA (Payment of Wages) Case No. 898 of 2015).
  • Representing school teachers in a representative action for payment of wages (Md. Shafiqul Islam vs Bangladesh and others, Writ Petition No. 7304 of 2011)

 

COMMERCIAL & CORPORATE LAW:

Advised private and public limited companies regarding the legality of all aspects of their operations, including rectification of share registers, minority protection litigation, winding up proceedings as well as trademark and taxation related issues. Regularly advise and assist foreign companies in setting up place of business in Bangladesh.

Advised and assisted Dell Global BV in setting up a liaison office in Bangladesh. Recently advised a leading US based advertising technology company seeking to expand its services in Bangladesh regarding privacy and data protections laws. Currently advising and representing a Thailand based company regarding registration of trademark and industrial design.

Regularly advise banks regarding legal aspects of their financial transactions and investments, including legality of security documentation. Recently, successfully represented Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited in a proceeding before the High Court which challenged the bank’s security arrangements in respect of a claim of BDT 175 million (equivalent to US$ 2.2 million). Recently advised the largest private bank in Bangladesh in respect of investment of more than US$ 20 million under a syndicated finance arrangement for construction of a power plant

Notable Cases:

  • Representing the country’s leading private limited bank in instituting the largest recovery case in the Shariah banking sector (BDT 8 billion equivalent to US$ 102.56 million) (Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd. vs Ananda Shipyard & Slipways Ltd.)
  • Represented BPC in arbitration proceedings instituted by a shipping company claiming compensation of over US$ 5.5 million in a commercial dispute (Atlantic Shipping Ltd. vs Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC)).
  • Representing a leading local pharmaceutical company in a litigation involving rectification of share register (Jalalabad Pharmaceuticals Ltd vs Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms)

 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS LAW:         

Advised global mobile phone operator groups and providers of messaging and VOIP services on issues related to expansion of their services within Bangladesh, including advising on restrictions on transfer of customer data, legality of storage of user communication, data retention obligations, legality of providing OTT VoIP/Chat services, data security breaches, reporting obligations etc.

Recently, advised the world’s largest information technology company and second largest mobile phone manufacturer regarding the legality of using embedded programmable SIM technology as a substitute for traditional SIM cards. Also advised the company in respect of the proposed expansion of its services in Bangladesh.

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS:

Represented government, semi-government organizations and private entities in relation to processing tenders, issuance of work orders and compliance with tender conditions.

Advised companies in relation to government contracts and tenders.

Notable Cases:

  • Represented the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (‘NCTB’) successfully in a commercial dispute with an independent contractor arising out of cancellation of tender proceedings (Mohammad Shahabuddin, Proprietor, M/s Sunrise Engineers vs National Curriculum and Textbook Board, Writ Petition No. 2626 of 2001).  
  • Represented the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (‘NCTB’) successfully in a commercial dispute with the owner of a printing press (M/s Suktara Press vs National Curriculum and Textbook Board, Writ Petition No. 5609 of 2003).

 

CRIMINAL LAW & INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW:

Defended former Ministers and Members of Parliament in high profile corruption and tax evasion cases. Recently, defended leaders of the country’s largest Islamist political party charged with genocide and crimes against humanity before the International Crimes Tribunal, Dhaka.

Notable Cases:

  • Acted as Defence Counsel in the case of Chief Prosecutor, International Crimes Tribunal vs Professor Ghulam Azam. The judgment of the War Crimes Tribunal laid down the law relating to superior responsibility for commission of international crimes for the first time in Bangladesh.
  • Acted as Defence Counsel in the case of Chief Prosecutor, International Crimes Tribunal vs Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid. The judgment of the Tribunal laid down the principles of Joint Criminal Enterprise for the first time in Bangladesh.
  • Represented death row prisoners in the High Court (Abdul Aziz vs the State, Criminal Appeal No. 3332 of 2008).
  • Represented a government employee successfully in an appeal proceedings against conviction and sentence in a forgery and corruption case (Md. Abdul Maleque vs the State, Criminal Appeal No. 4021 of 2001).

 

SELECTED REPORTED CASES:

Md. Badiuzzaman vs Bangladesh and others (15 BLC 531); Md. Shamsul Huq and others vs Bangladesh and others (15 BLC 236); Shah Abdul Hannan vs Bangladesh (16 BLC 386); Md. Mehedi Hasan vs Bangladesh (19 BLC 472); CM Koyes Sami vs Bangladesh Bank and others (2 LCLR [2013] HCD 15); Md. Abdul Bari vs Bangladesh Biman and others (63 DLR 27); Md. Mostafizur Rahman vs Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank and others (20 BLC 662); Ayub Ali vs Bazlul Haq Biswas (23 BLT 422); Md. Shahid Farooqui vs Director, National Housing Authority (6 LNJ (2017) 14).

PAPERS AND PUBLICATIONS:

 

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