RE: Legal Opinion regarding request of Police station to supply information and to submit Bank Account Statement of Mr. x in connection with Police Station Case no. 08 dated 15.12.2006.
Please refer to your letter no. ……………… dated 07.05.2007 on the above subject.
We have perused the papers/documents referred to us. It appears that a Sub-Inspector of Police Station (“Officer”) vide his letter dated 24.04.07 has requested Bank 1 (“the Bank”) to supply information regarding a cheque for Tk. 95,97,600.00 drawn on Bank 2 which is alleged to have been deposited with the Bank A/C Mr. x on 20.11.2006 and also to submit Bank Account Statement of Mr. x in connection with Police Station Case no. 08 dated 15.12.2006 under section 467/468/471/420 of the Penal Code.
The relevant laws for producing documents for investigation of offences by a Police Officer is stated in section 94 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 which provides as follows:
“(1) Whenever any Court, or any officer in charge of a police-station considers that the production of any document or other thing is necessary or desirable for the purposes of any investigation, inquiry, trial or other proceeding under this Code by or before such Court or officer, such Court may issue a summons, or such officer a written order, to the person in whose possession or power such document or thing is believed to be, requiring him to attend and produce it, or to produce it, at the time and place stated in the summons or order:
Provided that no such officer shall issue any such order requiring the production of any document or other thing which is in the custody of a bank or banker as defined in the Bankers’ Books Evidence Act, 1891 (XVIII of 1891), and relates, or might disclose any information which relates, to the bank account of any person except, –
(a) for the purpose of investigating an offence under sections 403, 406, 408 and 409 and sections 421 to 424 (both inclusive) and sections 465 to 477A (both inclusive) of the Penal Code, with the prior permission in writing of a Sessions Judge; and
(b) in other cases, with the prior permission in writing of the High Court Division.”
The restriction relating to non-disclosure applies to any document or other thing which is in the custody of a bank or banker and relates or might disclose any information which relates, to the bank account of any person. The documents and records for which the Officer has requested the Bank to supply are in custody of the Bank and might disclose information of the account of Mr. X
Further, the offences for which the investigation is being conducted by the Officer against Mr. x includes section 467/468/471 of the Penal Code. As such, before issuing any order requiring the production of any documents or other things which are in the custody of the Bank, the Officer in charge shall require prior written permission from a Sessions Judge.
In the premises stated above, we are of the opinion that since the allegations labelled against the account holder comes within the ambit of section 94(1)(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, written permission from a Sessions Judge is required. The Bank may inform the Officer concerned that, unless he produces order of the Court to provide information and supply documents, the Bank shall be unable to supply the required information; otherwise, the Bank may be subjected to legal action by its client, Mr. x.
If you have any further query, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.
For: “The Lawyers & Jurists”