After several developments throughout the day, retired Supreme Court judge AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury says he now can submit the verdicts and orders he wrote after retirement.
Senior Appellate Division judge Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah has “agreed to accept the verdicts and orders”, Choudhury told bdnews24.com on Sunday evening.
Earlier in a media conference, he said Justice Miah expressed his inability to accept the verdicts and orders because he was following Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha’s instructions.
“So there had been no question of submitting them,” Choudhury said.
Justice Miah had headed the bench of Justice Choudhury before the latter retired four months ago.
Justice Choudhury told reporters at the media conference he had sent a letter to the chief justice asking him to accept the verdicts and orders.
Later, the Supreme Court issued a statement saying the chief justice expected Justice Choudhury to ‘immediately send the files of cases whose judgments are yet to be written to the office of the registrar general’s office, rather than continue making comments in the media about verdicts and orders of cases’.
Justice Choudhury said 15 judgments and 70 orders remained to be written by him at the time of his proceeding into retirement.
A year after taking over as chief justice, Sinha said on Jan 17 that judgements written by judges after proceeding into retirement contravened the Constitution.
Justice Shamsuddin Choudhury wrote in his letter, “Your comments have been deliberated on in Parliament, which did not agree with your opinion and noted that there was no bar to judges writing judgements after going into retirement.”
BNP leaders came out in the chief justice’s support of his view and exploited it to claim that the verdict which led to the scrapping of the caretaker government system was also ‘illegal’.
But Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said Chief Justice Sinha made the remarks to press for justice, not because he believed that writing verdicts after they were announced was illegal.
Law Minister Anisul Huq and his predecessor Shafique Ahmed also said that they did not see anything wrong with the old practice.
Drawing the chief justice’s attention to the opinions of lawmakers and legal experts, Justice Choudhury wrote to Justice Sinha, “You cannot undermine the judiciary, the law and the system of justice on the basis of your personal opinions and beliefs. You have sworn an oath under the Constitution.”
A leaked telephone conversation between the chief justice and another purported Supreme Court judge made headlines in the recent times. Media reports claimed Justice Choudhury was the other person in the conversation.
Before his retirement, Justice Choudhury created another debate sending a letter to the president to demand the chief justice’s impeachment for allegedly halting his pension process.
Justice Choudhury delivered verdicts in many significant cases such as those on the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution, Col Abu Taher’s court martial, and the BGMEA building.
He started his career as a High Court lawyer in 1978. He fought for the State as a deputy attorney general in the Bangabandhu Murder Case. He also argued in the Yasmin murder case.
He was appointed an additional judge of the High Court Division in 2001 when the Awami League was in power.
The BNP government, formed in late 2001, terminated Choudhury’s temporary employment after he had served for two years instead of making him a permanent judge.
Choudhury and several judges moved High Court against the decision. The High Court ruled in their favour in 2009.
He was promoted to the Appellate Division in 2013. – Agencies