POST TIME: 11 December, 2019 01:25:50 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 11 December, 2019 09:39:49 AM
Charges pressed against ex-CJ Sinha, 10 others
Money laundering case

Charges pressed against 
ex-CJ Sinha, 10 others

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has pressed charges against former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha and 10 others in a case filed against their alleged involvement in laundering of Tk 4 crore from Farmers' Bank Ltd (now Padma Bank Ltd). This is the first time in the country that a former chief justice has been charged with corruption. ACC Director Benjir Ahmed submitted the charge sheet before the chief metropolitan magistrate’s Court of Dhaka on Monday. Dhaka metropolitan senior special judge KM Imrul Kayes received the charge sheet, confirmed Md Julfiker, general recording officer of the ACC, to The Independent yesterday. The 10 other accused are: former managing director of Farmers’ Bank KM Shamim, its former senior executive vice-president Gazi Salauddin, first vice-president Swapon Kumar Ray, senior vice-president Ziauddin Ahmed, first vice-president Shafiuddin Askary, vice-president Lutful Haque, Tangail residents Md. Shahjahan, Niranjan Chandra Saha, Ranajit Chandra Saha, and his wife Shanti Ray. On December 4, the anti-graft body approved the charge sheet against SK Sinha and 10 others in the case. The ACC approved the charge sheet after director Benjir Ahmed submitted the probe report before the commission.

On July 10, the ACC director, Sayed Iqbal Hossain, filed the case of money laundering against Sinha and the others. According to the FIR, all the 11 accused tried to siphon off money from November 2016 to September 2018. It also mentioned that they had tried to transfer and hide the money in violation of the Money Laundering Prevention Act 2012.

On April 25, 2018, the ACC started probing a complaint from an unknown source that Tk 4 crore was deposited in Sinha’s bank account from two accounts in Farmers’ Bank. Sinha had come under fire from the ruling Awami League over the verdict on the 16th Amendment to the Constitution and went on leave in October 2017. Later, he became the first chief justice of the country to quit when he submitted his resignation from overseas, 81 days before the end of his term.

Following this, the Supreme Court said in a rare statement that Sinha was facing 11 specific charges, including corruption, money laundering, financial irregularities, and moral blunder. In August 2018, lawyers, toeing the ruling Awami League’s political line, held countrywide demonstrations demanding that the observations made in the verdict against the 16th Amendment should be immediately withdrawn by SK Sinha. On August 1, 2018 the Appellate Division released its full verdict on the 16th Amendment.

In 2018, Sinha published a book titled “A Broken Dream: Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy” from the US. In his book, he mentioned that he was forced to leave the country after he penned the unanimous verdict on the 16th Amendment. He also claimed that the money was deposited after he sold his house.