SCBA leaders 'barred from meeting CJ'
Law enforcers yesterday allegedly barred the president and the secretary of Supreme Court Bar Association from meeting Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, who is on a month's leave on health grounds.
Talking to The Daily Star, SCBA Secretary AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon said he along with the association's President Zainul Abedin and several other lawyers left the High Court by four vehicles for the CJ's residence on Hare Road around 5:30pm.
“A white jeep intercepted the vehicles near the Matsya Bhaban. Plainclothes policemen came down from the jeep and searched the vehicle in front,” he said.
“The law enforcers asked the lawyers in the vehicle about our president and where we were heading for. When the lawyers told them that we were going to the chief justice's residence, they said we cannot go there and asked us to go back,” said the secretary of the SCBA, dominated by pro-BNP lawyers.
However, Maruf Hossain Sorder, deputy commissioner (Ramna Division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, refuted the allegation.
“Police didn't do anything,” he said.
Khokon said the SCBA would hold a press conference on the matter this morning.
On October 2 afternoon, SCBA leaders went to Sinha's residence but the law enforcers there allegedly didn't allow them to meet the CJ.
Yesterday morning, Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Gowher Rizvi met the CJ at the latter's residence.
Gowher went there around 11:00am and held an hour-long meeting with the CJ, a source told this newspaper.
Details of the meeting could not be known.
Meanwhile, BNP Standing Committee Member Moudud Ahmed said the government has tarnished the judiciary's image by putting the CJ in an “awkward position”.
He was addressing a programme organised by Bangladesh Democratic Movement, a pro-BNP organisation, at the Jatiya Press Club in the capital.
Moudud said the CJ came under attack from the ruling party for making the observation in the 16th amendment verdict that "No nation, no country is made of or by one person”.
“Has he [Sinha] told a lie?” Moudud asked.
The BNP leader further said all the people, except for a few, made significant contributions in achieving the country's independence.
On Thursday, Law Minister Anisul Huq met SK Sinha, who went on leave on Tuesday.
After meeting the CJ at his residence, the minister said he was taking rest.
Asked whether the CJ would go abroad, Anisul said he didn't discuss the matter with the CJ.
Earlier, the law minister had said the CJ went on leave for treatment as he has been suffering from cancer.
The BNP on Wednesday alleged that the CJ was sent on forced leave.
SK Sinha came under the spotlight after a Supreme Court bench headed by him scrapped the 16th constitutional amendment that restored the parliament's authority to impeach SC judges for misconduct or incapacity.