Bangladesh’s Hindu Chief Justice Surendra Sinha ‘forced’ to go on leave amid reports of ‘confinement’
Bangladesh’s Hindu Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha is believed to have been forced to go on leave, sparking allegations by opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) that the government had forced him to go on leave for a month, three months before his retirement.
As per media reports in Bangladesh, the Supreme Court administration on Tuesday sent a letter to the president, informing him that Chief Justice Sinha, who is on leave on health grounds, would go to Australia to see his daughter and receive treatment.
Registrar of the Appellate Division of the SC Md Zakir Hossain signed the letter saying that the Chief Justice may leave for Australia on October 13 and may stay there till November 10, a high official at the Supreme Court told The Daily Star asking not to be identified.
News portal bdnews24 cited a senior official confirming that the letter sent by the Chief Justice to President Md Abdul Hamid reached the Law ministry in the afternoon.
“The chief justice has sent the letter to us to inform the president that he is travelling abroad. It (forwarding the letter to the president) is under process now,” the official said.
While a Chief Justice proceeding on leave shouldn’t ideally stir any controversy, it is the backdrop that has raised eyebrows.
Justice Sinha’s sick leave comes on the back of a full-frontal attack by the ruling Awami League leaders over the 16th amendment appeals verdict. The amendment, which would empower members of parliament to impeach judges of the high court and supreme court, was struck down, first by the former and then by the latter.
Announcing the judgment, Justice Sinha referred to the history of the emergence of Bangladesh in 1971. While paying full tribute to the leadership of the country’s founding father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in the movement for freedom, Justice Sinha noted that an entire nation took part in the struggle which was a collective experience for Bangladesh rather than being the contribution of a single individual.