President Abdul Hamid has accepted the resignation of Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha."It has been accepted," the president's Press Secretary Joynul Abedin told the media yesterday. "The relevant documents will now be sent to the law ministry."
Justice Sinha took leave from the court and left the country on October 13 following criticism from the Awami League government over the verdict repealing the 16th constitutional amendment. The Bangabhaban confirmed it had received a resignation letter from Sinha after the leave ended on Saturday.
Sinha was appointed as the 21st chief justice to the Supreme Court on January 17, 2015. He was scheduled to end his term on January 31, 2018. His term comes to an end 81 days early with the resignation.
Justice Sinha is the first chief justice of Bangladesh to resign from his post. No chief justice has faced such direct criticism during their term. After Justice Sinha went on leave, the Supreme Court cited 11 allegations of corruption, money laundering, financial irregularities and moral lapse against him.
Sinha's colleagues refused to work with him after he failed to 'acceptably' explain the allegations, the Supreme Court said. On Saturday, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said the president would take measures outlined by the constitution after receiving the resignation letter.
The constitution states: "If the office of the Chief Justice becomes vacant, or if the President is satisfied that the Chief Justice is, on account of absence, illness, or any other cause, unable to perform the functions of his office, those functions shall, until some other person has entered upon that office, or until the Chief Justice has resumed his duties, as the case may be, be performed by the next most senior Judge of the Appellate Division."
Meanwhile, BNP yesterday protested the acceptance of Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha's resignation by President Abdul Hamid saying it is an 'ominous' sign for the nation.
"The President on Tuesday accepted the resignation letter of the Chief Justice who was unprecedentedly forced to quit. We strongly protest it as he (Sinha) didn't resign willingly," said BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.
Speaking at a discussion at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday, he further said, "It's an ominous sign for the nation. It's also a stigmatized incident.
The government has set a bad example through forcing the Chief Justice to quit."The BNP leader said the government is trying to establish its control on both the lower and the higher judiciary to restore 'one-party' Baksal rule indirectly.
He warned that people will not allow the ruling party this time to hold another lopsided election like January-5, 2014 one.The BNP leader also said their chairperson Khaleda Zia will unveil the framework of an election-time supportive government at the right time.
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