‘Farmers get arrested for tiny debt, but big defaulters remain off the hook’: a judge slams lenders

Justice M Enayetur Rahim makes the remarks during the hearing of a plea by BRAC Bank over the use of blank cheques to recover loans

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 28 Nov 2022, 01:40 PM
Updated : 28 Nov 2022, 01:40 PM

The Supreme Court's chamber judge has slammed banks for taking “no action” against big loan defaulters, while farmers in Pabna were arrested for their failure to repay tiny debt.

“You people tie an ordinary farmer with rope for Tk 25,000, but take no action against those who looted millions of taka,” Justice M Enayetur Rahim said during the hearing of a plea of BRAC Bank over the use of blank cheques to recover loans.

The arrest of the farmers for their failure to repay loans ranging from Tk 25,000 to Tk 30,000 each came earlier this week amid a flurry of reports of billions of taka being embezzled from banks through loan frauds as the amount of defaulted loans in the banks kept mounting.

Financial institutions use blank cheques signed by clients as a security to give them loans. If the customer fails to repay, the cheque is used to start cases over cheque dishonouring.

A businessman filed a plea with the High Court after BRAC Bank had sued him in such a case. The High Court on Nov 23 passed a verdict in favour of the businessman, saying the financial institutions can file a case with the Money Loan Court under the Money Loan Court Act 2003 in the event of defaults.

The six-member full bench of the Appellate Division will hear BRAC Bank’s appeal against the High Court order on Dec 1 as the chamber judge denied making comment on the matter without reviewing the full verdict issued by the High Court.

Justice Enayetur said the banks should follow the Bangladesh Bank’s instructions on loans, noting that the blank cheques do not contain the amount of money and other necessary information.

MA Amin represented BRAC Bank during the hearing, while lawyer Abdullah Al Baki stood for the businessman.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher