S Alam appeals for ban on reports on its overseas assets

High Court
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Md Saiful Alam, the chairman of S Alam Group, and his wife Farjana Parvin have filed an appeal at the Appellate Division for a ban on publishing reports, statements, opinions or any videos online about their overseas assets.

The appeal was made on behalf of Sailful Alam and his wife by their legal representatives on Tuesday. One of their lawyers said that a hearing on the appeal could take place today, Wednesday in the Appellate Division.

Earlier, English newspaper The Daily Star published a report titled ‘S Alam’s Aladdin’s lamp’ on 4 August. The High Court passed a suo moto rule to investigate the allegation made against S Alam Group in the report. In the report, it was alleged that the company has transferred large sums of money abroad and is investing it without the permission of Bangladeshi authorities.

On 6 August, the accused Saiful Alam and his wife filed a leave to appeal at the Appellate Division. On 23 August, the Appellate Division ordered all parties to maintain status-quo and fixed next year’s 8 January as the date for the hearing on the leave to appeal.

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One of the lawyers of Saiful and Farjana, Md Saifullah Mamun told Prothom Alo that lawyer Syed Sayedul Haque (who brought the Daily Star report to the court’s attention) gave his opinion concerning the case on social media in a video in spite of the court ruling to maintain status quo.

They have now filed the appeal to ban all print and electronic media, social media accounts and lawyer Syed Sayedul Haque from publishing any statement, opinion, report, or video on the matters concerning the leave to appeal.

In the appeal, they also asked for the immediate off-loading of the video lawyer Syed Sayedul Haque posted online giving his opinion on the matter.

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Earlier on 10 August, S Alam Group’s chairman Saiful sent a legal notice to two government secretaries, Prothom Alo, The Daily Star, New Age and The Business Standard’s editors and seven journalists.

In that notice, a request was made to the secretary of home ministry and the secretary of information and broadcasting ministry to remove the published report from public domain by 10:00am on 13 August. The notice also demanded that no such reports should be published in the future.