This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.

Surendra Kumar Sinha

Surendra Kumar Sinha
সুরেন্দ্র কুমার সিনহা
21st Chief Justice of Bangladesh
In office
17 January 2015 – 11 November 2017
Appointed by Abdul Hamid
Preceded by Md. Muzammel Hossain
Succeeded by Syed Mahmud Hossain
Personal details
Born (1951-02-01) 1 February 1951 (age 67)
Tilakpur, Kamalganj, Sylhet, East Bengal, Dominion of Pakistan
Nationality Bangladeshi
Alma mater University of Chittagong

Surendra Kumar Sinha (born 1 February 1951) is a Bangladeshi lawyer and jurist who served as the 21st Chief Justice of Bangladesh.[1][2] He was forced by the government to resign from the position in November 2017.[3]

Early life and education

Sinha was born in the present-day Moulvibazar District in 1951 to Lalit Mohan Sinha and Dhanabati Sinha.[1] He obtained bachelor of laws degree in 1974 from the Sylhet Law College.[1]

Career

Sinha enrolled as an advocate of the District Court, Sylhet in 1974 and practiced in that court under the guidance of two civil and criminal lawyers and conducted sessions trial cases independently till the end of 1977.[4] He obtained the permission to practice before the High Court Division and Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in 1978 and 1990 respectively.[4]

Sinha was elevated as a judge of the High Court Division on 24 October 1999. On 16 July 2009 he was appointed judge of the appellate division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.[5] He assumed the office of the chairman of the Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission in June 2011 and the office of the Chief Justice of Bangladesh on 17 January 2015.

Sinha attended several conferences regarding judicial affairs.[6]

Sinha is known for a number of high-profile judgments including those on the killing of former President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the 5th and 13th amendments to the Constitution of Bangladesh.[4]

The 16th amendment verdict

The 16th amendment of the constitution of Bangladesh was passed by the parliament on 17 September 2014 which would give power to Jatiya Sangsad to remove judges if allegations of incapability or misconduct against them are proved.[7] On 5 May 2016, a special High Court bench declared the amendment illegal and unconstitutional.[8][9] On 4 January 2017, the government challenged the verdict by filing an appeal with the appellate division and on 3 July, a seven-member Supreme Court bench headed by Sinha unanimously rejected the appeal upholding the High Court verdict.[8][10] Following the full verdict release on 1 August, the prime minister and senior ministers publicly criticized Sinha for the decision.[11] The Jatiya Sangsad on September 13 passed a resolution calling for legal steps to nullify the Supreme Court verdict.[11]

Fallout

Sinha went on one month's leave since 3 October 2017[12] and traveled to Australia on 13 October.[13] Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah was appointed to discharge the duties of the chief justice in the absence of Sinha.[13] Earlier, law minister Anisul Huq said Sinha went on the leave for treatment as he was suffering from cancer.[14] Sinha later rejected this claim.[13] Bangladesh National Party spokesperson alleged Sinha was forced to leave.[15]

On 14 October, a day after Sinha left the country, the Supreme Court released a statement[11] citing 11 charges against him including money laundering, financial irregularities, corruption and moral turpitude.[16] According to the statement, on 30 September, President Abdul Hamid handed over documentary evidence over those allegations to four other appellate division justices.[16] It added, upon meeting with those justices, Sinha submitted his application to the president on 2 October for one month's leave.[16]

On 10 November, Sinha flew to Canada when his 39-day leave expired. A day later, he sent his resignation letter to President Hamid.[17] Sinha was scheduled to retire on 31 January 2018.[18]

Personal life

Sinha is married to Sushama Sinha.[18]

Biography

Sinha published his autobiography A Broken Dream: Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy on 19 September 2018. In the book, he gave first-hand accounts of government agencies intimidating the judges to serve verdicts in favour of the government, ruled by Awami League. In a sensational revelation, he alleged that the country's military intelligence agency Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI), forced him to leave the country and offer the resignation.[19] DGFI spokesperson Brigadier General Tanveer Mazhar Siddique, later denied the allegation saying, DGFI never threatens any person or does anything like this.[20]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Hon'ble Chief Justice of Bangladesh". Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Surendra Kumar Sinha takes oath as the 21st Chief Justice of Bangladesh". firstpost.com. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Chief justice resigns". The Daily Star. 2017-11-11. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  4. ^ a b c "Surendra Kumar Sinha appointed next chief justice of Bangladesh". The Times of India. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  5. ^ NITI PTI BOT. "Bangladesh appoints Surendra Kumar Sinha as new chief justice". niticentral.com. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Bangladesh appoints Surendra Kumar Sinha as new Chief Justice". Economic Times. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  7. ^ "HC rules 16th amendment illegal". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  8. ^ a b "Removal of SC Judges: Power not with JS". The Daily Star. 2017-07-04. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  9. ^ "16th amendment illegal: HC". Prothom Alo. Retrieved 2016-05-07.
  10. ^ "SC critical : Full verdict on 16th amendment released". The Daily Star. 2017-08-02. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  11. ^ a b c "Supreme Court cites 11 charges, including graft and moral lapse, against Sinha". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  12. ^ "CJ visits hospital for tests". The Daily Star. 2017-10-09. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  13. ^ a b c "I am completely well, says CJ Sinha as he leaves country". The Daily Star. 2017-10-13. Retrieved 2017-10-13.
  14. ^ "CJ is a cancer patient, hence leave: Minister". The Daily Star. 2017-10-03. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  15. ^ "CJ forced to go on leave". The Daily Star. 2017-10-05. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  16. ^ a b c "11 'charges' against CJ". The Daily Star. 2017-10-15. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  17. ^ "Chief justice steps down". The Daily Star. 2017-11-12. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  18. ^ a b "CJ's wife flies to Australia". The Daily Star. 2017-10-18. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  19. ^ "Ex-Bangladesh chief justice SK Sinha's new book accuses country's military spy agency DGFI of forcing his resignation". The Daily Star. 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  20. ^ "In his book, Justice Sinha says he was 'exiled' by government". The Daily Star. 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-09-20.