Bangladesh's chief justice accused of corruption

2017-10-14 20:12
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dhaka - Bangladesh's chief justice has been accused of serious crimes, including corruption, by the country's government, it emerged on Saturday, as he departed for Australia expressing his fears for judicial independence in the nation.

The accusations against Surendra Kumar Sinha follow widespread speculation that he had come under pressure to take leave over a landmark verdict delivered by his court that went against the government in August.

Top judges

The graft allegations emerged in a rare statement from Sinha's own Supreme Court on Saturday, which said other top judges have refused to sit with him at the top bench after he was accused of serious crimes such as graft.

The statement said Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid had called four top judges of the Supreme Court to his palace on September 30 and handed over the documents on "11 specific allegations" against Sinha.

"They include money laundering, financial irregularities, corruption, moral degradation and other specific serious allegations ," it said.

It said the judges held a meeting with Sinha over the charges at his residence in Dhaka and at one stage he even said clearly that he would step down if they stopped sitting with him in court. Later, on October 2, he sought a one-month leave from the President, who granted the holiday from the next day, it said.  

The saga over his leave came just months after he led the Supreme Court in scrapping parliament's power to sack top judges - a move hailed by lawyers as a crucial safeguard for a secular judiciary in the Muslim-majority nation.

Forced to take leave

In a written statement issued before his departure, Sinha said he was a "bit worried about the independence of the judiciary", expressing dismay over criticism he has faced from the government over the August ruling on judicial dismissals.

Sinha, who insisted he would return to Bangladesh once his leave ends on November 10, rejected claims by the country's justice minister that his absence was due to illness.

"I'm not sick. I'm not fleeing. I'll come back," Sinha said, adding that his leave was "in the interests of the judiciary.

"I'm fully well, but the way a political quarter, lawyers, and especially some honourable ministers of the government and the honourable prime minister are criticising me recently over a verdict made me embarrassed."

Bangladesh's top bar association has repeatedly said Sinha was being forced to take leave. 

"The Supreme Court Bar Association thinks he has done none of these things willingly," said Zainul Abedin, a pro-opposition lawyer who heads the association.

"The government has done these activities after putting enormous pressure on him," said Abedin, accusing the government of hounding the judiciary. 


Read more on:    bangladesh  |  corruption  |  judiciary

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

And the Paws24 and Hill's winners are ...

Find out who the winners of our Paws24 pet pics and Q&a competitions are...

 

Paws

Keep your family and pets safe from rabies
5 scientific benefits of owning a cat
Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.