Controversy rages over Justice Sinha’s absence from court

Controversy rages over Justice Sinha’s absence from court

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Dhaka – Former law minister Moudud Ahmed has alleged the government is now plotting against Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha to send him abroad after forcing him to go on leave, bdnews24.com has reported.He was addressing a discussion at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Thursday. He doubted whether Justice Sinha had indeed signed the leave application or the letter carried someone else’s signature.
Moudud alleged that the chief justice’s sick leave application Law Minister Anisul Huq showed on Wednesday was ‘fake’. He pointed out spelling mistakes in the application written in Bangla and said, “No chief justice can sign such a letter. It’s impossible!”
“And that’s not his signature. This is his signature,” Moudud said, showing a piece of paper with an example of Justice Sinha’s signature. “He used this in all the Bangla and English documents.”
Moudud alleged that no one is allowed to meet the chief justice while his home telephone remains disconnected.
“He is under house arrest – that’s what we say now. The government has trampled the judiciary’s independence and dug its grave by putting him under house arrest,” he said.
Law Minister Huq told journalists on Wednesday that “he is not under house arrest.”
Meanwhile, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said at the discussion that the government was acting like ‘goons’, the bdnews24.com report said.
Rizvi criticised Attorney General Mahbubey Alam for ‘not knowing the whereabouts of the chief justice’. “Is the chief justice’s case an enforced disappearance?” the BNP leader asked.
BNP leader Moudud also suggested that “from now on, no chief justice will be able to work freely.”
He expressed ire over ‘attacks on Justice Sinha and the Supreme Court’ over the appeal verdict upholding repeal of the 16th constitutional amendment.
On Monday, a day before the court resumed after vacation, the government said in a circular that Justice Sinha went on leave ‘to take rest following illness’ and therefore Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, the senior most judge after Justice Sinha in the Appellate Division, would act as chief justice.
The announcement prompted the BNP to allege that the government forced Justice Sinha to take the one-month leave just three months before his retirement.
Moudud also criticised the government for arresting the opposition leaders and dissenting voices like now-defunct Daily Amar Desh acting editor Mahmudur Rahman, Nagorik Oikya Convenor Mahmudur Rahman Manna, journalists’ union leader Shawkat Mahmud and party leader Rizvi Ahmed on false charges.
“Why should Mahmudur Rahman (of Amar Desh) have to be in jail for five years? Why Rizvi, Manna and Shawkat Mahmud were in jail?” he asked.
An organisation of teachers and employees of educational institutions arranged the discussion.
Former Dhaka University vice-chancellor Professor Emajuddin Ahamed, late Professor Pias Karim and Professor Mahmuda Begum were honoured as the ‘Best Teachers’ at the function.

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