Re: Supply of Information to Additional Police Super, Bhola relating to customer’s account for the purpose of investigation on the basis of report published in daily newspapers A/C. Mr. x of the Bank’s
We refer to your letter No. ………………….. dated 01.06.2005 on the above subject.
We have perused the papers/documents referred to us.
Our opinion is as follows:
The powers of police officers in connection with investigation of offences and production of documents are laid down 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.”
Hence, before asking for any information relating to the bank account of any person, prior permission of the concerned Sessions Judge or the High Court Division, as the case may be, must be obtained. Other than section 94 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, we are not aware of any provision of law empowering a police officer to seek information from a bank relating to the bank account of any person.
From the Memo being No. 1603/Ha dated 28.05.2005 issued by Mr. y, Additional Police Super, Bhola it appears that the information sought for relates to the bank account of Mr. x. However, as required by section 94, no order of any Court of law has been submitted by the concerned Additional Police Super.
In the absence of written permission from the concerned Court of law, we are of the view that it would not be appropriate for the Bank to provide information sought for by the Additional Police Super relating to the bank account of Mr. x.
However, if the concerned Additional Police Super can produce necessary order of the concerned Court of law, Bank would be legally obliged to furnish the information sought by him.
If you have any further query, please do not hesitate to contact the undersigned.
For: “The Lawyers & Jurists”