Bangladesh chief justice resigns amid controversy

Bangladesh’s first Hindu Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, facing graft and money laundering allegations, has resigned a month after he went on leave abroad amid a row with the government over a crucial Supreme Court judgement, a senior official said on Saturday. Sinha assumed office on January 17, 2015 as the country’s 21st Chief Justice. He is scheduled to retire on January 31 next.

Sinha submitted his resignation letter to Bangladesh Embassy in Singapore on the last day of his month-long leave yesterday, where he had gone for medical checkups. On October 13, he had left Dhaka for Australia on a private tour amid reports that the government was upset with him over his decision to scrap parliament’s authority in impeaching Supreme Court (SC) judges.

The dispute grew in the subsequent weeks as many ministers attacked Sinha for slamming the government for reactions over the verdict, and cited Pakistan’s example where Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was stripped of the premiership following an apex court ruling. A day after his departure, the Supreme Court issued a statement saying that other judges of the apex court had decided not to sit in the bench with Sinha over allegations of “grave” graft and moral lapses, brought to their notice by President Abdul Hamid.

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