The High Court during a hearing on Monday (21 August) commented that those involved in money laundering have mental illness.
"How much money does a person need to live? How many buildings are needed? Why go after so much money?" the HC asked.
The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat was hearing Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Syed Sayedul Haque Suman's petition seeking to become a party to the probe on S Alam Group ordered by the court.
The bench ordered to record Barrister Suman's plea but did not decide on making him a party to the case.
"It is not right to remain silent on issues like corruption and money laundering. We cannot knowingly close our eyes. We have to be vocal against corruption for the sake of the nation," Barrister Suman told the media, quoting the court.
"However, if something is done to humiliate someone unjustly, they will not be exempted."
Regarding the petition, the court said, "If necessary, you [Barrister Suman] will be heard on this matter. And if you feel that you want to present any statement or information to the court during the hearing in this case, you have that freedom."
At the hearing, advocate Ahsanul Karim represented S Alam Group owner Saiful Alam and his wife Farzana Parveen, and Barrister Suman represented himself.
S Alam seeks stay on probe
Also yesterday, Saiful Alam and Farzana filed a leave-to-appeal petition with the Appellate Division, seeking a stay on the High Court order to investigate money laundering allegations against the conglomerate, confirmed Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lawyer Mintu Kumar Mondal.
Talking to this newspaper, he said the chamber judge of the Appellate Division has fixed Wednesday for the hearing on the matter.
The petition of S Alam said the High Court order based on a report by The Daily Star has no legal basis and it is baseless.
Therefore, the conglomerate has sought a stay order, he added.
Senior lawyers Ajmalul Hossain QC and Ahsanul Karim presented the application to the court on behalf of applicants while Mintu Kumar Mondal appeared for the ACC.
Earlier on 6 August, the High Court in a suo motu ordered a thorough investigation into the allegations of at least $1 billion laundered by Mohammed Saiful Alam, the owner of S Alam Group.
The court directed the ACC and the Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) and the CID to investigate the matter and submit a report within two months.
The investigation was prompted by a news item published in The Daily Star, which reported that "Saiful Alam had established businesses worth at least $1 billion in Singapore without obtaining permission from the Bangladesh Bank for overseas investments or money transfers".
Later on 19 August, Mohammad Saiful Alam and his wife Farzana Parveen submitted an appeal to the High Court, seeking their inclusion as defendants in the suo motu rule concerning allegations of unauthorised foreign investments or money transfers.
They requested the court to allow them to become a party to the rule so they can place their arguments, petitions and appeals before the court through their lawyers.
The high court on 20 August set 29 August to hear the appeal.