SHILLONG, June 17: Hearing a petition, the Meghalaya High Court has cautioned West Garo Hills, Superintendent of Police for freezing the bank account of one Jimbe R. Marak, the wife of GNLA cadre Savio Ch. Marak.
The petitioner alleged that her SBI bank account at the Williamgar Branch was frozen without any enquiry or notice by the bank authorities on the mere plea of the SP of West Garo Hills that the account number may be used by her husband who is a suspected militant.
The counsel for the petitioner, Sujit Dey raised a question before the court that if at all the police required to seize the account, there must be a speaking order giving the reason for which it is frozen, and prayed that, necessary order may be passed.
On the other hand, appearing for the state, KP Bhattacharjee submitted that the petitioner is operating the account since January 31, 2014. He further submitted that the account was frozen only for a few months.
Justice SR Sen after hearing the both sides, opined that before freezing any account of any person, it is necessary for the freezing authority to enquire into the matter and details and to pass a reason order so that, the aggrieved party/account holder will know the reason for which the account has been frozen.
“We cannot freeze the account of a person on mere suspicion because it may cause hardship to the account holder. We must remember that in law, we must act in a manner as law desires, otherwise not. Since there is no allegation that, till date the said account has been operated by the petitioner’s husband or any other militants, she is hereby allowed to operate her account freely,” Justice Sen said in his order dated June 16. Justice Sen also directed the SP of West Garo Hills and State Bank of India, Williamgar Branch, represented by its Branch Mager, not to be a hindrance in the operation of the account until it is required and it should be in accordance with law.