A three-judge High Court bench yesterday delivered a dissenting verdict on the legality of bail of two former AB Bank officials in a money laundering case.
Two senior judges of the bench upheld the bail of former chairman M Wahidul Haque and former head of financial institutions and treasury Abu Hena Mustafa Kamal.
In their verdict on a suo moto (voluntary) rule, Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice M Enayetur Rahim observed that the magistrate's court, which gave them bail, can do so in such cases, but the magistrate has to exercise the bail granting power cautiously.
The judges, however, issued a travel ban on the two until the trial court finishes the trial of the Tk 165 crore laundering case, Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) lawyer Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan told The Daily Star.
The other member of the bench, Justice Md Ashraful Kamal, scrapped the magistrate's bail order and asked the two accused to surrender to the lower court immediately.
ACC lawyer Khurshid said the verdict given by majority of the judges [two out of the three] will remain in force. He also said all the judges observed that the magistrate's court has to consider gravity of the offences in the trial of such cases.
On January 25, a magistrate's court in Dhaka gave bail to Wahidul and Abu Hena, hours after their court appearance. On January 31, a HC bench led by Justice Enayetur Rahim issued a suo moto rule asking the government, ACC and the bank's two former officials to explain why the bail granted to them by the lower court should not be cancelled.
On April 4, the HC bench sent the documents regarding the rule to the chief justice for constituting a special bench to settle this issue. Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain then formed the three-judge special bench to dispose of the rule.