Bank accounts are confidential

Bank accounts are confidential

Published: Mon 15 Apr 2013, 8:47 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 5:07 PM

I have a family case ongoing against me in my home country (India) and have been fighting this for the past one-and-a-half years. The bank with which hold my account has given my two years’ bank statement to my ex-wife without my consent or without informing me. This has troubled me a lot and has impacted on the case. Due to this being produced in the Indian courts I have to pay a maintenance of Rs15,000 (Dh800 approx) to my ex-wife every month. Further, I have legal expenses to bear. I would like to point out that the bank was not summoned by any authority to issue this statement. I have spoken to the bank and they replied saying that they do not know how this statement was giving to another person without my consent. I want to know what I can do to safeguard my rights, what is the liability of the bank and if I can start any legal proceedings against the bank. This is a leading bank in the UAE.

Pursuant to the contract executed between you and the bank at the time of opening the bank account, the bank should not furnish the statement of your account to any person who is not authorised by you to receive statements of your bank activity. The bank should maintain details of your bank account confidentially in accordance with Article 246 of Federal Law No 5 of 1985 on the Issuance of the Civil Transactions Law which states:

“1) The contract shall be performed according to the provisions of the contract, and in a manner that ensures good faith.

2) The liability of the contracting party under the contract shall, apart from the terms contained therein, include other requirements as found in the law, custom, and nature of the transaction.”

You may file a complaint against the bank with the Central Bank of the UAE.

Further, you may claim compensation in accordance with Article 285 of Federal Law No 5 of 1985 which states: “If a person deceives another, he shall be liable for damages for such act of beguilement.”

In the event you file a claim against the bank before a court of competent jurisdiction in the UAE, the onus will be upon you to prove to the court the quantum of damages in accordance with the Article 292 of the Federal Law No (5) of 1985 which states: “In all cases, the amount of liability for damages shall be assessed in proportion to the damage sustained by the injured person and to the extent of gains lost by him, provided always that such damage is a natural result of such tort.”

Employment visa

If a person is on a long term visit visa (90 days) when he gets a job, is it possible for the employer to get an employment visa without the person leaving the country?

The employer could apply for an employment visa while the person is physically present in the UAE. Since a person had arrived in the UAE on a three-month visit visa it is not mandatory for him to exit the UAE and re-enter on an employment visa. Change of status can be done without a person having to exit by paying the applicable fee.

Absconding case

I work for a construction company in Abu Dhabi. Last month I took emergency leave and did not report back. I sent my resignation through the post before my leave expired and the employer sent me a letter stating that he will file an absconding case. Under what circumstances can he file a case against me?

Generally, an employer may file an absconding case against its employee with the Ministry of Labour if the employee is absent from work without informing his employer of his whereabouts.

In your case, it is assumed that you proceeded on emergency leave with full knowledge and consent of your employer. Further, you have mentioned that there has been some communication between you and your employer. Therefore it is implied that your employer had sufficient knowledge of your whereabouts. Hence filing an absconding case would be without bonafide reason.

Ashish Mehta, LLB, F.I.C.A., M.C.I.T., M.C.I.Arb., is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates, a legal consultancy firm in Dubai. He also practises in India, United Kingdom and Singapore. He has worked with international and commercial legal procedures, providing analysis and counselling on complex legal documents and policies such as commercial transactions, securitisation, real estate acquisitions, financial restructuring for distressed assets, mergers and acquisitions, arbitration and litigation issues. Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

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