Muhammad Yunus
Bangladesh, Nobel laureate, Yunus, six months, violation, labor lawsIANS

Bangladesh Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus has been sentenced to six-months in jail for violating the country's labour laws, media reports said.

Al Jazeera -- quoting lead prosecutor Khurshid Alam Khan as saying: "Professor Yunus and three of his Grameen Telecom colleagues were convicted under labour laws and sentenced to six months in simple imprisonment."

Yunus had pioneered Grameen Telecom in his country while using microcredit to help impoverished people. Grameen Telecom, which he founded as a non-profit, is at the center of the trial.

As per Bangladeshi media reports, the head of the Third Labour Court of Dhaka, Sheikh Merina Sultana, in her verdict said that Yunus' company violated labour laws. "67 of Grameen Telecom employees were supposed to be made permanent, and the employees' participation and welfare funds were not formed," she said.

Operations of microfinance institutions are slowly getting normal with improved cash availability.Reuters

She also said that, following company policy, five per cent of the company's dividends were supposed to be distributed to staff.

Yunus (83), who won the award in 2006, is credited with lifting millions out of poverty through his anti-poverty campaign through the Grameen Bank, a mode that was replicated across continents.

(With inputs from IANS)