Former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha has sought asylum in Canada, claiming that he was threatened for refusing to support political interference in the judiciary, according to a news report.
In an interview with Canadian online news portal The Star last week, Sinha said he had received threats for his stance against political interference that would have given parliament greater power to axe dissenting judges.
On October 13, 2017, Sinha left Bangladesh for Australia on “sick leave” and resigned from the post of chief justice around a month later.
In its report published Thursday, The Star mentioned that Sinha recently stayed in the US. He crossed into Canada through Fort Erie on July 4 and filed a refugee claim.
“I was being targeted because I was an activist judge. I delivered judgments that provoked bureaucrats, the establishment, politicians and even terrorists,” Sinha told The Star.
“I am the enemy of the country, the persona non grata.”
In the interview, Sinha claimed that he was harassed by Bangladeshi intelligence agents, who had allegedly forced him to take sick leave.
Mizanur Rahman, Bangladesh’s High Commissioner to Canada, refuted Sinha’s accusations, said The Star report.
“All I can tell you is since he left Bangladesh, he has been making these inaccurate statements about the government,” Mizanur told the news portal over phone.
“He is absolutely under no threat to return to the country. He is making these statements just to strengthen his refugee claim,” the high commissioner added.
On July 10, Bangladesh’s Anti-Corruption Commission filed a case against the former chief justice and 10 others over corruption, money laundering and abuse of power.
Sinha has denied the charges brought against him.
The Canadian news portal said the ACC didn’t respond to its enquiry about the charges.