A legal notice was served yesterday asking the authorities concerned of the government to refrain from collecting information of landlords and tenants of the Dhaka city dwellers.On Monday, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police asked the home-owners of the city to submit personal information on tenants along with other information to the local police by March 15.
The notice alleged that without any legal basis the Dhaka Metropolitan Police asked the landlords to provide the all personal information of their tenants by March 15. “If the government would not halt it move in collecting personal information of the city dwellers within 24 hours, appropriate legal action would be taken against it,” Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua told The Independent after sending the legal notice.
Secretaries of Law and Home, Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner have been made respondents in the notice.
“There is no specific law to ask for all this private information unless there is a valid order from a competent court of law to supply the same to the honourable court. I would like to know under what basis you are asking for my private information and also how this information will be stored and under what law,” the notice said.
The notice said, “In the past the Police Department did not do any such thing to gain personal confidence that we are safe in their hands. On the contrary, there are numerous incidents of being tortured and harassed by the police on regular basis. I personally have no confidence on police and afraid of supplying my personal information to you without a valid order from a competent court of law.”
“Being a law-abiding citizen of the country I am committed to support and assist the law enforcing agencies in their lawful duty but the police is required to act within the specific legal frame-work. I am not bound to follow any illegal and whimsical instruction of any authority. My fundamental right to privacy is guaranteed by the Constitution of Bangladesh and it cannot be denied by police for any reason,” according to the notice.
Addressing a press conference at DMP Media Center in the city, DMP Commissioner Md Asaduzzaman Miah asked the home-owners of the city to submit personal information on tenants along with other information to the local police by March 15.
He also asked the home-owners to include National Identity Cards or any such identification documents and photos of tenants with specific forms of the police.
“We are requesting the home-owners to inform police whenever their tenants leave their rented houses,” he said.
It’s a legal obligation to help law-enforcers implement laws in the country, he said, adding that the owners cannot avoid responsibility if any crimes occur in their houses.
“It shouldn’t happen that you rent your houses, but have no information about your tenants,” he warned. It’s also a crime if anyone helps or finances a criminal, he remarked.
“If any owners don’t provide information about their tenants by submitting the prescribed forms of the DMP, legal action would be taken whenever any crimes occur,” he stated.
He, however, assured that nobody would be harassed and the data would be stored securely.