POST TIME: 30 September, 2018 12:23:27 PM
‘A broken dream’: A book of revenge
Our ex-Chief Justice did not explain in his memoir why he wrote a long personal observation attached to the 16th amendment and who was the ghost writer of that observation
Abdul Gaffar Choudhury

‘A broken dream’: A book of revenge

At last my fear has come true. The fear was that our former Chief Justice will do something just before the election to take revenge against the present Bangladesh government. About more than six months ago, a young friend of mine came to see me. His name is Nijhum Majumder. He himself is a controversial London-based writer and blogger. He recently wrote a book under the title The trial of the Killers of 71 and the abuse of the Muslim identity. He approached me for writing a preface for his book. I wrote it and the book is now in the market. More than six months ago, he told me he that he was approached by some quarters to be a ghost writer for a book which will be dictated by the former Chief Justice S.K. Sinha and someone approached Nijhum on behalf of him. He needed more than one ghost writer. Nijhum asked me whether he should accept the proposal. I told him, "Though I like your writing and you are a powerful writer whether you will be involved in this controversial book, is your decision". What he did I do not know. I presume that he did not get involved in this project.
I tired my utmost to contact Justice Sinha. He was sometimes in Australia, sometimes in New York or Canada. So I could not contact to make an appeal to him that, he has all the right to write his memoir, especially the events which compelled him to resign his post and leave the country. But he should publish it after the election in this December. Otherwise, whatever truth he writes some people may think that this book was written to take a revenge against the government. I wanted to tell him further that at the present moment he is agitated and may exaggerate some events which may prove to be untrue or half true in the future. He was the Chief Justice of a country. He should come down first and avoid people who are known as the leaders of the so-called civil society and were very close to him.

It is a fact now that these leaders of the civil society took advantage of his simplicity and tried to use him as a powerful tool against the government. The government's reaction was also exaggerated. Justice Sinha should have calmly analysed the events which led to his resignation, then write a memoir from his perspective and it should have been published after the election so that his so-called elite friends and the anti-democratic forces against the Hasina government could not take advantage of the book and use it for their election propaganda. If that happened that would diminish the importance of the book and many people will think that his observation about the events reflected a vengeful mind and it is not based on full truth.

I could not contact Justice Sinha on telephone. After getting hold of his address from one of his friends I wrote a long letter to him. I do not think he received it as there was no answer or acknowledgement. I have not received a copy of the book yet. But I have read long extracts from the book which was published in different newspapers. The revelation in this book could create big sensation not only in Bangladesh but in the whole subcontinent.  But I heard that the book lost its spark because of the timing of its publication and because its contents are very controversial. Now some people think that this book was written by the advice of his elite friends in Dhaka who has misled him, and that it was written under their advice and cooperation and with a political motive to malign the government.

I remember another incident like this. Air Vice Marshal (Retd), AK Kahandaker is a leading freedom fighter of 71. He is a very well respected person in all quarters and considered a neutral man. The anti-Hasina cliques wanted to take advantage of him and use him to fulfil their political purpose. They encouraged him to write a memoir and that book made some untrue comments about the role of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. I was amazed how such a respected person who was closely associated with the war of independence could write this book. Afterwards I came to know that this aging Air Vice Marshal got some ghost writers appointed by his friends in the so-called Civil society. They did this without the knowledge of the air vice marshal. The unfortunate man had to take all blame.

Our ex-Chief Justice did not explain in his memoir why he wrote a long personal observation attached to the 16th amendment and who was the ghost writer of that observation. It is now an open secret in Dhaka and elsewhere that before producing the judgement he was surrounded by some famous lawyers belonging to the civil society. He was under the influence of the very anti-Hasina law practitioners. They helped I'm to write that observation, which was the main reason for the clash between him and the government. He could have easily avoided it by disassociating himself from the influence of those political vultures.

Perhaps without realising the Chief Justice too became a part of that political conspiracy. Government took action against him and not the judiciary. If government exceeded their power against judiciary, the former Chief Justice is partly to be blamed for that. He could not prove that his role in giving the verdict of the repeal of the 16th amendment was independent and not under the clout of the so-called civil society who are bent upon to destroy this democratic government. Former Justice Sinha knows that judiciary are not fully independent in the entire subcontinent yet. But in Bangladesh it is going towards gaining this relative independence gradually. Knowingly or unknowingly the ex-Chief Justice took this political stance and made himself responsible for inviting the interference in the judiciary.

A famous former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Kayani took a courageous stand against Ayub and his basic democracy system after his retirement. But, when he was in service he did not invite or say anything which could further deteriorate the relationship between the executive and the judiciary. Justice Sinha could follow that example, could uphold the dignity of the judiciary, along with his own. I did not go through his whole book, only read some extracts so I cannot discuss the memoir in its totality. But it seems that the extracts I read was not written to show the attack on the judiciary but to fulfil his personal vendetta which detracted from the value of the book. After reading this book fully I hope to discuss about it in details.

London, Thursday 27 September, 2018