The chamber judge of the Appellate Division has ordered Brac Bank to provide Tk 5 lakh within seven working days, of the total Tk 15 lakh it was directed to pay by a High Court as compensation to Jaha Alam, a jute mill worker from Tangail who was falsely tried in a loan scam case and spent three years in jail without committing any crime.
After hearing a petition filed by the bank for a stay order on the High Court’s verdict directing it to provide compensation, Justice M Enayetur Rahim passed the order on Monday. Besides, the court fixed October 31 for a hearing on Brac Bank’s petition in front of a full bench of the Appellate Division.
During the hearing, senior advocate Md Khurshid Alam Khan appeared for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), while Md Asaduzzaman stood for Brac Bank.
On September 30, 2020, the High Court in a verdict warned the ACC and ordered Brac Bank authorities to pay Tk 15 lakh as compensation to Jaha Alam within 30 days of receiving a copy of the verdict, which was published on August 7, 2022. The bank filed a writ petition asking for a stay order on the verdict, on which today’s hearing was conducted.
In 2012, the ACC filed a total of 33 cases against three people, including one Abu Salek, for embezzling Tk 18.50 crore from Sonali Bank through cheque fraud. Brac Bank was one of the 18 banks where the frauds had cleared cheques.
While investigators were trying to unearth the identities of the culprits, two officials of Brac Bank had identified Jaha Alam as Abu Salek, leading to the former landing in jail and spending three years behind bars, with no connection to any crime that may have been committed.
The investigators however have failed to provide any good reason for the oversight, if that, by Brac Bank officers to avert them either prior to Alam's arrest, or in those three years that he remained incarcerated.
Nevertheless, both the High Court and the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court have asked Brac Bank to compensate Jaha Alam.