RE: Legal Opinion regarding Order of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh dated 08.03.07 passed in Writ Petition No. ………… of 2007.
We refer to your letter no. ……………. dated March 08, 2007 on the above subject.
From your letter it appears that MR. X and MR.Y have a joint fixed deposit account with Bank 1 (“the Bank”). MR. X and MR.Y are operating the joint account on the condition that “Account to be operated by either or survival singly”.
The Bank was instructed by the Director General of Central Intelligence Cell, NBR, Dhaka (the DG of CIC, NBR) vide their letter dated 01.03.2007 (“NBR Letter”) to inform them about the details regarding the account status of MR. X and MR.Y by 08.03.2007. The DG of CIC, NBR has also instructed the Bank to freeze the accounts of MR. X and MR.Y.
But the Honourable High Court Division of the Supreme Court has issued Rule and interim order on 08.03.2007 in Writ Petition no. …………, which was informed to the Bank in writing by the Lawyer representing MR. X and MR.Y?
It appears from the letter of the lawyer of MR. X and MR.Y that the High Court Division has issued Rule and also directed the respondents including the Bank not to divulge or supply any information about the accounts of MR. X to the DG of CIC, NBR and others. The Court has further directed that the aforesaid order of the DG of CIC, NBR shall have no effect to MR.Y. The Bank is warned that any action violating the order of the Court will be construed as contempt of court.
In the circumstances stated above you have referred the matter to us with a request to give our legal opinion as to what should the Bank do if MR.Y comes to the Bank to encash FDR.
OUR OPINION IS AS FOLLOWS:
Regarding MR. X:
If we accept the authenticity of the information provided by the letter of the lawyer of MR. X and MR.Y, then since there is a direction of the Honourable Court upon the respondents including the Bank not to divulge or supply any information about the accounts of MR. X to the DG of CIC, NBR, we are of the opinion that the Bank is under an obligation to follow the said direction.
However, we understand that the Honourable Court did not pass any interim order regarding the freezing order of DG of CIC, NBR in connection with the accounts of MR. X. As such the freezing order, in relation to the accounts of MR. X, given by the DG of CIC, NBR is still effective.
As informed by the lawyer of MR. X and MR.Y, the Honourable Court has further directed that the order of the DG of CIC, NBR shall have no effect to MR.Y.
However, since account of MR. X and MR.Y in question is a joint account and the freezing order of DG of CIC, NBR in relation to the account of MR. X is still effective, the Bank cannot allow operation of the said joint account by MR.Y. Accordingly, the Bank cannot allow MR.Y to encash the FDR jointly maintained in the name MR. X and MR.Y.
Please note that above opinion is given on the basis of information given in the letter of the lawyer of MR. X and MR.Y. However, a complete opinion can only be given upon perusal of certified copy of the order of the Hono’ble Court given in Writ Petition No. 2461 of 2007.
If you have any further query, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.
For: “The Lawyers & Jurists”