Sushama Sinha, wife of Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, left for Australia last night, three days after her husband went there.
She left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on a Singapore Airlines flight around 11:55pm, Anisur Rahman, personal secretary to the CJ, told The Daily Star.
Justice Sinha, now on a month's leave on health grounds, left Dhaka for Australia around midnight on Friday. Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, the senior most judge after Justice Sinha of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, is now carrying out the CJ's duties.
Before leaving the country, Justice Sinha told journalists that he was not sick, contradicting the government's claim that he went on leave on health grounds.
It was his first interaction with the local media since the government announced his “sick leave” beginning October 3, the day the apex court opened after over a month-long annual vacation.
He spoke to reporters briefly in front of his Hare Road residence and handed them a signed statement, typed in Bangla, before heading to the airport.
He said, “I'm not sick. I'm not fleeing. I'll come back. I'm a little embarrassed. I'm the guardian of the judiciary. I'm leaving for a brief period in the interest of the judiciary, and so that the judiciary is not polluted.”
On October 2, the SC authorities in a letter informed President Abdul Hamid about the CJ's leave, according to Law Minister Anisul Huq.
Justice Sinha is now facing 11 allegations, including money laundering and corruption, the SC said in a statement on Saturday.
The president last month informed the judges of the SC's Appellate Division about the allegations and the judges later discussed the allegations with Justice Sinha, it mentioned.
On that day, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told reporters that the CJ's rejoining office after returning home was “a far cry”.
Justice Sinha was appointed as the country's 21st CJ in January 2015. He is scheduled to go into retirement on January 31 next year, said SC sources.
He came under fire ever since the SC on August 1 released the full text of its verdict in the 16th amendment case, scrapping the constitutional amendment that had empowered parliament to remove SC judges for misconduct or incapacity.
The top court in its full verdict made some observations, which were critical of the country's present political culture.
Following the verdict, the prime minister and senior ministers came down heavily on the CJ, with many of them calling for his resignation.