Acting Chief Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah today conveyed to all the judges of the Supreme Court about issuing a statement over the unwillingness of five judges of the Appellate Division to sit on the same bench with Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha.
He conveyed this at a full court meeting of the apex court where all the judges of the Appellate Division and High Court Division of the SC were present.
The SC issued the statement on Saturday, October 14, following a meeting of the five judges of the Appellate Division led by Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah.
In the statement, the SC said it was issued as Justice Sinha's statement before he left for Australia was “misleading” and had drawn the court's attention.
According to the SC statement, on September 30, the president invited five judges of the Appellate Division, other than Justice Sinha, to the Bangabhaban. Justice Muhammad Imman Ali could not be there as he was abroad at the time.
Four other judges -- Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, Justice Hasan Foez Siddique and Justice Mirza Hussain Haider -- met the president.
At one stage of a long discussion, the president handed over documentary evidence over 11 specific allegations against the chief justice.
The allegations include “money laundering, financial irregularities, corruption, moral turpitude and some other specific serious allegations”.
After Justice Imman Ali returned home, the five judges held a meeting on October 1 to discuss the 11 allegations and decided to notify Justice Sinha about those.
“If he fails to give satisfactory reply to the allegations, it would not be possible to conduct trial proceedings alongside him,” reads the statement.
The five judges, taking permission from Justice Sinha, met him at his residence at 11:30am the same day and discussed the allegations.
But the five judges did not get a satisfactory answer from the CJ, according to the SC statement. They told him that it would not be possible for them to hold trials sitting in the same bench with him unless the allegations are resolved.
At this, Justice Sinha categorically said that he would resign. However, he would come up with his final decision the following day.
On October 2, without informing the judges, Justice Sinha submitted his application to the president for one month's leave. The president approved it, reads the release.
Following this, president, as per article 97 of the constitution, appointed Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, the senior most judge of the Appellate Division, to discharge the duties of the chief justice in the absence of Sinha.