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4 October, 2017 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 4 October, 2017 01:37:42 AM
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CJ leave for cancer treatment: Anisul

SCBA claims it a forced leave
STAFF REPORTER
CJ leave for cancer treatment: Anisul

Law Minister Anisul Huq and Attorney General Mahbubey Alam yesterday refuted any allegation of government pressure on Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha to go for one month leave, saying that the CJ went on the leave for treatment as he was suffering from cancer and other ailments. The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) made the allegation of government pressure after an emergency meeting of the association held yesterday, a day after the law minister and the AG disclosed that chief justice Sinha has sought one month leave to the president on health grounds from Oct 3.

The law minister and the AG also termed the SCBA claim a plot to tarnish the reputation of the judiciary. “It (the allegation) is totally baseless and those who want to hinder democracy are making such claims,” the law minister said.

“The chief justice has been suffering from cancer and other ailments, and he is yet to recuperate. That’s why he’s decided to take a month off," added the law minister.

Echoing the law minister, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said, “We know he [chief justice] is a cancer patient …he went on leave because of physical illness”.

Terming the SCBA claim a plot to stain the reputation of the judiciary, the chief law officer of the state said, “The SCBA, which is controlled by a certain political quarter, is trying to make a gain by bringing such allegations.”

Earlier, the SCBA President Zainul Abedin, after an emergency meeting of the association attended by some senior lawyers, said: "It was a forced leave. We believe that the chief justice was put under tremendous pressure. We all know that the government and a political party was pressurising him after a judgement [on the 16th amendment case].”

He also told journalists that they need a consensus among all lawyers for the greater interest of the judiciary.

"We are worried over the sudden leave of the chief justice. We will decide our next course of action after holding another meeting tomorrow (Wednesday)," he said.

The Supreme Court arena, meanwhile, witnessed varying speculations about the sudden leave of the chief justice.

Some said the chief justice may not return

to his workplace until his retirement scheduled on January 31 next year. On completion of his one month leave, Sinha may extend his leave for another month and then again he would go on leave till his retirement, they said.

Sources said the chief justice may go to Singapore for his treatment within a few days.  Tension also gripped Supreme Court employees and even some lawyers following the sudden leave of the chief justice.

The chief justice’s leave application came on the heel of widespread debates over the 16th amendment case verdict that restored the provision of Supreme Judicial Council after scrapping the 16th amendment to the constitution.

A number of Awami League (AL) leaders and pro-AL lawyers demanded the chief justice’s resignation accusing him of undermining parliament and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the 16th amendment case verdict.

The Jatiya Sangsad on September 13 passed a resolution calling for legal steps to nullify the SC verdict. The law minister on several occasions said the government would seek review of the judgment.

The JS had passed the 16th amendment in September 2014. The amendment was challenged at the High Court. The HC in May last year declared the amendment unconstitutional and void.

The government filed an appeal with the SC, challenging the HC verdict. The apex court on July 3 rejected the appeal and upheld the HC verdict. The SC on August 1 released the full text of the verdict. In its full verdict, the SC made some observations, which were critical of the country’s present political culture.

Following the release of the full text, several government stakeholders, including many ministers and AL office bearers, expressed their discontent with the verdict. They claimed the observations were “objectionable, unconstitutional and irrelevant.”

Meanwhile, in the wake of Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha's month-long leave on health grounds amid a row over the cancellation of the 16th constitutional amendment, BNP senior leaders held a marathon meeting yesterday night, reports UNB.

The over two-hour meeting that began around 8:15pm was held at BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office. BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir will brief reporters about the outcome of the meeting and the party's reaction to the Chief Justice's sudden leave at a press conference at 11am on Wednesday at the party's Nayapaltan central office, said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.

Mirza Fakhrul chaired the meeting that was joined by standing committee members, vice presidents and other senior leaders.

Meeting sources said the BNP leaders elaborately discussed various issues relating to the country's latest political situation and the Chief Justice's leave.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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