ACC to investigate allegations against Sinha: Law minister
Published : 15 Oct 2017, 14:34:26
Law Minister Anisul Huq on Sunday said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will investigate into the allegations raised against Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha.
“There is the Anti-Corruption Commission which is an independent body. It will investigate the allegations against Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha,” said the law minister at a media briefing at his office at the Bangladesh Secretariat in the capital.
If the allegations are found true, a case will be filed against him, the minister said at a press conference at his secretariat office in Dhaka.
The law minister held the media briefing on the backdrop of CJ Sinha’s letter to the media during his departure for Australia. In the letter, the CJ said that he is not sick, he is fully well, contradicting law minister’s claim that Sinha went on one-month leave as he is sick.
Earlier on Saturday, Supreme Court issued a notification said members of the apex Appellate Division earlier this month decided not to sit in the bench with Chief Justice SK Sinha against the backdrop of a series of graft and other "grave" charges brought to their notice by the president.
"This written statement (of Sinha) is misleading," read the Supreme Court statement signed by its Registrar General Syed Aminul Islam.
It said President M Abdul Hamid on September 30, invited all the five apex court judges to Bangabhaban barring the chief justice while four of them met him as the fifth one, Justice Muhammad Imman Ali, was abroad at that time.
The statement read Justice Md. Abdul Wahhab Miah, Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, and Justice Mirza Hussain Haider held a long discussion with the president.
"At one stage, the honorable president handed over to them the evidences of 11 specific allegations against Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha," it said adding that the allegations included some grave charges like money laundering, financial irregularities, corruption and moral lapses.
According to the statement on Justice Imman Ali's return home the five Appellate Division judges held a meeting on October 1 and reviewed the 11 allegations and decided to discuss with Sinha over the issue.
"(They decided) if he (Sinha) fails to give any satisfactory explanation or reply to the allegations it will not be possible on their part to sit with him in the bench to deliver justice," it read.
They five judges, it said, then met the chief justice at his official residence on the same day fixing an appointment and held a detailed discussion with him regarding the allegations.
"But despite long discussion the five judges of Appellate Division didn't get any acceptable explanation or reply from him and so all of them clearly conveyed tom him that until the disposal of those charges it will not be possible for them to share the bench with him to deliver justice," it read.
At this stage, the statement said, Sinha clearly said that in that case, "he will resign" but he would let them know about his final decision the next day on October 2, 2017.
"(But) on October 2, 2017, without informing anything to those aforesaid judges, he filed an application to the honorable president seeking one month leave and the president subsequently approved it," the statement said.
The chief justice flew for Australia on Friday night and the very next day the Supreme Court's registrar general, Syed Aminul Islam, issued a statement, saying that the president, Abdul Hamid, brought 11 specific allegations of money laundering, financial irregularity, corruption and moral turpitude against SK Sinha.
When his attention was drawn to the allegations, the law minister said the ACC will investigate into the allegations. “None is above the law.”
Asked if the ACC would launch the investigation on its own or the government would forward the allegations to the anti-corruption watchdog, the law minister said it can be done in either way.