Saturday, September 23, 2017

Speculations swirling on Chief Justice Sinha's removal: Rizvi

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2017-08-23 21:00:23 BdST

bdnews24

BNP leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi says he has heard whispers that Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha will be 'shown ill' and eventually removed as chief justice.

The BNP senior joint secretary general's comment came on Wednesday in the wake of ruling Awami League leaders' demand for resignation of Justice Sinha for his  observations in the verdict on the 16th constitutional amendment.

Speaking at a discussion at the National Press Club in Dhaka, Rizvi said the government was "apparently flabbergasted and lost its way following the verdict."

"Now people are discussing whether they (ruling party) will go ahead with an evil plan to declare the chief justice mentally ill and use it as a pretext to remove him," he said. 

According to the Section 97 of the Constitution, "If the office of the Chief Justice becomes vacant, or if the President is satisfied that the Chief Justice is, on account of absence, illness, or any other cause, unable to perform the functions of his office, those functions shall, until some other person has entered upon that office, or until the Chief Justice has resumed his duties, as the case may be, be performed by the next most senior Judge of the Appellate Division."

The government brought the 16th Amendment to the Constitution in 2014, bringing back parliament's power to remove Supreme Court judges on the grounds of 'incompetency or misconduct'.

Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha at a reception by Bangladesh Women Judges Association at Dhaka’s Judicial Administration Training Institute on Saturday.

The Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Sinha, declared the amendment illegal, reviving the provision of the Supreme Judicial Council to sack top court judges.

In the verdict, Justice Sinha made many observations on the country's politics, martial laws, Election Commission, corruption, good governance, independence of the judiciary, and various other issues.

Ruling party leaders, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, have slated the chief justice, alleging he 'undermined Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the verdict'.

Ruling party MP Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh even said that Attorney General Mahbubey Alam should resign for his 'failure' to protest against the comments made by the chief justice.

Rizvi mentioned Taposh's comments on the attorney general's role in his speech.

"The situation is so bad that he demanded the resignation of one of their own people. This attorney general tries his best to keep BNP leaders and activists in jail," he said.

"Such a loyal attorney general will never come. Alas! An Awami League MP has demanded his resignation.

"People like Fazle Noor Taposh may seek the prime minister's resignation some day," the BNP leader said.

He also criticised the government for not giving Bangla film icon Abdur Razzak state honour during his funeral.

The BNP leader alleged the Awami League does not recognise others' contribution in the struggle for independence.