A Dhaka Court on Thursday asked the Anti-Corruption Commission to submit investigation report in the money laundering case against former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha and 10 others on September 28.
Dhaka metropolitan senior special judge Imrul Kayes passed the order after seeing the first information report filed by the commission.
The commission’s director Sayed Iqbal Hossain filed the case with its integrated district office-1, the first instance in the country’s history in which a former chief justice has been sued on any charge.
Six officials of Farmers Bank Ltd — former managing director and chief executive officer of the bank AKM Shameem, its first vice-presidents Swapan Kumar Roy and Shafiuddin Askaree, senior executive vice-presidents Gazi Salauddin and Ziauddin Ahmed and vice-president M Lutful Haque — and four of its clients — M Shahjahan, Niranjan Chandra Saha, Santee Roy and Ranajit Chandra Saha— were also accused in the case.
According to the commission investigation and also case report, each of Niranjan Chandra Saha and M Shahjahan transferred Tk 2 crore from their accounts with the Gulshan Branch of the bank to the account of the former chief justice through separate pay orders.
The probe found that Niranjan Chandra was nephew of Ranajit Chandra while Ranajit and Shahjahan were childhood friends.
The first information report said that all the 11 accused would be tried for siphoning off of the money in collusion of each other between November 2016 and September 2018.
It also said that they tried to transfer and hide the money, which constituted offences under the Money Laundering Prevention Act 2012.
The inquiry against Justice Sinha began four months and a half after he resigned as the chief justice on November 10, 2018 amid serious controversies, kicked off by a unanimous Appellate Division verdict.
The Appellate Division judgement upheld a High Court Division verdict that struck down the 16th amendment to the constitution seeking to restore the Jatiya Sangsad’s power to remove Supreme Court judges for misconduct or incapacity.
The unanimous verdict of the apex court penned by chief justice Sinha created bitterness between him and the government.
Sinha, now staying in the United States, sent his letter of resignation through the Bangladesh High Commissioner to Singapore while he was there on his way to Australia.
Lawyers said that Sinha’s departure from Bangladesh and his resignation occurred due to pressure mounted by the government.
Sinha in his book ‘A Broken Dream: Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy’ wrote that he was forced to leave the country after he penned the unanimous verdict on the 16th amendment.
He also claimed in the book that the money in question was transferred to his bank account as the sale proceeds of his house.
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