I am completely well, says CJ Sinha as he leaves country
Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha tonight said that he is not sick and will come back home after his leave.
He told this to reporters at his official residence on the city's Hare Road around 10:00pm before leaving for Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to travel to Australia.
A Singapore Airlines plane carrying the CJ left the airport at 12:00am, the duty officer and also an officer-in-charge of Dhaka police at immigration of the airport told The Daily Star.
He came out of his car and talked to the reporters who gathered there.
He said that he will come back after his leave is over.
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“I am completely well, but I am really embarrassed at the way political quarters, lawyers and specially several honourable ministers and the prime minister personally criticised me centering a verdict recently,” the chief justice said in a written statement.
Earlier, the law minister said the CJ went on leave for treatment as he had cancer.
The BNP, however, alleged that the CJ was sent on forced leave.
Chief Justice Sinha is travelling to Australia, as the president has given his consent to the chief justice’s going abroad.
In this afternoon, Law Minister Anisul Huq said, “The chief justice’s office has informed me that Justice SK Sinha will go abroad tonight by a flight of Singapore Airlines.”
The minister, however, could not come up with details in this regard.
Anisul Huq on Thursday told reporters that Justice Sinha would travel to Australia, Canada, the USA and the UK and he might fly abroad today.
However, Supreme Court’s Registrar General Syed Aminul Islam and the chief justice’s Personal Secretary Mohammad Anisur Rahman could not be reached for the details about Justice Sinha’s leaving the country despite several attempts over cell phones today.
Meanwhile, relatives of the CJ visited him at his residence. Journalists were seen gathering in front of his house this evening.
The law ministry on Thursday issued a circular on Justice Sinha’s leave.
The ministry issued the circular after President Abdul Hamid on Wednesday gave his consent to the CJ’s leaving the country. The CJ is now on a month’s leave on health grounds.
According to the circular, Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, the most senior judge of the Supreme Court after Justice Sinha, will carry out the CJ’s duties till November 10 or till the CJ rejoins office.
Justice Sinha faced sharp criticism from some senior ministers and Awami League leaders over the constitution’s 16th amendment verdict. Some of them even demanded his resignation accusing him of undermining parliament and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The amendment to the constitution had empowered parliament to remove SC judges for incapacity or misconduct, which was scrapped by the HC.
An SC bench, headed by Justice Sinha, scrapped the 16th amendment to the constitution.
The SC authorities on Tuesday sent a letter to the president informing him that the CJ would go abroad.
The letter, signed by Md Zakir Hossain, registrar of the Appellate Division of the SC, said the CJ may fly abroad on Friday or any nearest date and stay there until November 10, a top official said yesterday.