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7 December, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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money laundering cases

Lower court can grant bail, says HC

STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka

In a majority view, a larger bench of the High Court yesterday (Thursday) observed that the lower court could grant bail to persons accused in money laundering cases in accordance with the law. The HC, however, said the lower court should dispose of the cases carefully, as an important issue like money laundering is involved.

The HC also ordered the magistrates concerned to scrutinise all documents, including information reports of the cases, statements of the plaintiff and defence sides and related laws before disposing of such cases.

The larger bench of the HC, comprising Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury, Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal, in a majority view came up with the observation while disposing of a suo motu rule issued by the HC earlier that questioned the bail granted to two former senior officials of the AB Bank in a money laundering case involving Tk 165 crore.

Two members of the HC bench, Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice M Enayetur Rahim, upheld the lower court order that granted bail to M Wahidul Haque, former chairman of the AB Bank, and Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal, the bank’s former head of financial institutions and treasury.

 However, the junior member of the bench, Justice Md Ashraful Kamal, disagreed with the verdict and cancelled their bail.

 The junior Justice also ordered the former bank officials to surrender before the lower court within a month.

 In his observation, Justice Md Ashraful Kamal said that though the special court has powers to grant bail and put the accused on remand under special laws, the magistrate court had granted bail to the former bank officials without exercising its judicial powers. Hence, their bail has been cancelled and they have been ordered to surrender before the lower court concerned, the court said.

 It observed that the people should be aware about corruption. The government should play its strict role against corruption, and the court should also be aware about corruption.

 After the HC order, Anti-Corruption Commission lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told reporters that the lower court could grant bail to accused facing money laundering cases under the special law following the High Court order, as the majority order would be maintained.

 In response to a query, he said the commission would decide about filing appeal after getting the full copy of the High Court verdict.

 A Dhaka court on January 25 this year had granted bail to M Wahidul Haque and Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal within few hours after they were produced before it in connection with a money laundering case filed against them.

 On January 31, a two-judge HC bench, headed by Justice Enayetur Rahim, issued the suo motu rule, asking the government, Anti-Corruption Commission and Wahidul and Abu Hena to explain why the bail granted by the lower court should not be cancelled.

The bench also issued a travel ban on Wahidul and Abu Hena.

 After issuing the suo motu rule, the HC bench sent the matter to the Chief Justice for his decision.

 Later, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain constituted the larger High Court bench for disposing of a suo motu rule that questioned the bail granted to the two former officials of the AB Bank in a money laundering case, involving Tk. 165 crore.

 After hearing on the rule, the HC bench yesterday came up with the order and observations.

 ACC assistant director Gulshan Anowar Pradhan filed the case against eight people, including the AB Bank’s former chairman and two managing directors, with Motijheel police station on charges of laundering around Tk. 165 crore.

 On January 25, the ACC arrested Wahidul, Abu Hena and businessman Saiful Haque — three of the eight accused — in connection with the case.

 After they were produced before a Dhaka court, it granted bail to Wahidul and Mostafa, but sent Saiful on a three-day remand.

 The other accused in the case are M Fazlur Rahman and Shamim Ahmed Chaudhury, ex-managing directors of the AB Bank; Mohammad Lokman, the bank’s head of the offshore banking unit; Mohammad Mahuz Ul Islam, its vice-president of the corporate treasury department; and Nurul Azim, its senior vice-president.

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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