An arrest warrant, the second, was issued against controversial former chief justice SK Sinha which is sad episode in Bangladesh’s judicial history.
SK Sinha is now self-exiled, at least for now, in Canada far away from Bangladesh’s legal system, but we hope if he is innocent he will face the court and proof his innocence as he has repeatedly claimed and has written in his book “A Broken Dream: Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy.”
He, as a chief justice, dismissed a government law seeking parliamentary authority to impeach Supreme Court judges over inability or other reasons and reinstated the previous provision of Supreme Judicial Council to take such actions. This raised many eyebrows in the country with some agreeing and some disagreeing with his move.
A case was against him was filed in 2019 and it is over bank fraud, hasty transfer, embezzlement and laundering abroad cash worth Taka 40 million, as per the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission. We believe that even getting accused in such a matter is not expected from a person who was chief justice of the country.
Judge Sheikh Nazmul Alam of a Special Court ordered the start of the case and issued an arrest warrant against Sinha, the first from the Hindu faith to hold the post in secular Bangladesh.
The bank in question, Farmer’s Bank, later crashed and has been now renamed as the Padma Bank.
Graft is a common problem across the world, especially in developing countries like Bangladesh, but a chief justice resorting to so many illegal actions is a sad story. It has shocked the nation and made people question if he has given proper verdicts in the case that he had settled.
We hope Justice Sinha will return home and prove his innocence for the sake of restoring confidence in the country’s judicial system.