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HC asks banks to publish list of borrowers on websites

Published : 01 Dec 2022 09:37 PM

The High Court has directed the authorities concerned to publish the list of borrowers who have taken loans from banks or financial institutions as well as the letters sanctioning the loans on the website of the bank or financial institution concerned. 

The information was revealed on Thursday (December 1) after the release of the full text of the verdict in the case related to cheque dishonour issue. The HC bench of Justice Md Ashraful Kamal had pronounced the short verdict on November 23

According to the 13-page verdict, Bangladesh Bank has been asked to implement the directive.

The HC bench in its short verdict ordered the banks and financial institutions not to file cheque dishonour cases against borrowers to realise their default loans. The higher court also asked the lower courts to dismiss such cases and transfer the cases to the Artha Rin Adalat (Money Loan Court) directly.

However, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has stayed the order of the High Court, that barred the banks or financial institutions from filing cheque dishonor cases against any person for debt recovery, for two months .

The five-member full bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddiqui, issued the stay order on Thursday (December 1) following a petition filed by BRAC Bank.

In the 13-page full verdict of the High Court, it was said that the name of the person or institution and the loan approval letter should be published on the website of the bank or financial institution to which a bank or financial institution will grant a loan.

The High Court in the verdict said, as bank money is essentially public money, the people have the right to know which institution or who is borrowing their money from the bank.

The verdict also said about insurance coverage against all kinds of loans. The verdict mentioned that Bangladesh Bank will immediately issue instructions to the banks and financial institutions by making insurance mandatory against every loan.

It was also said that the sanction letter should describe in detail the manner in which financial institutions will collect defaulted loans.

The High Court delivered the verdict after hearing an appeal of a customer named Mohammad Ali, who has been convicted and sentenced to six-month imprisonment in a cheque dishonour case of BRAC Bank.

The High Court in its verdict also requested the National Parliament to amend the law in this regard. 

The court asked lower courts not to accept any cheque dishonour case filed by any bank or financial institution from now on.

BRAC Bank lawyer Saifuzzaman Tuhin said that a bank or financial institute will only be allowed to file a case with Artha Rin Adalat in line with measures narrated in the Money Loan Court Act, 2003, while recovering the loan. 

Advocate Abdullah Al Baki moved the case for the appellant, while Saifuzzaman Tuhin stood for BRAC Bank. 

After the verdict, the BRAC Bank authorities filed a petition to the Chamber Judge’s Court to stay the verdict. On November 28, the High Court’s verdict was upheld by the Chamber Judge Court after hearing the appeal. 

At the same time, the full bench of the Appellate Division fixed Thursday (December 1) for a hearing on the appeal made in this regard.

On June 20 in 2016, Mohammad Ali, a small businessman in Brahmanbaria, was sentenced to six-month imprisonment and fined Tk 2.95 lakh in a cheque dishonour case.

On July 27 in 2015, BRAC Bank filed the cheque dishonour case against Mohammad Ali. Ali appealed to the HC against the judgement.

The HC relieved him of the imprisonment and ordered him to pay back 50 percent of the loan within the next 10 days.