‘Appointment of new CJ likely by Thursday’
The new chief justice will likely be appointed by Thursday.
The names of few Appellate Division judges are being discussed for the appointment, a reliable source in the law ministry told The Daily Star today.
Contacted over phone in the morning, Law Minister Anisul Huq said President Abdul Hamid will appoint a new chief justice very soon.
The president knows very well who will be the next CJ and when the appointment will be made but he did not disclose any names yet, Anisul Huq said.
The post of chief justice fell vacant on November 10, last year when Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha resigned. Since then, Justice Wahhab Miah, the senior-most judge of the Appellate Division, has been performing the functions of the CJ.
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In an unprecedented instance, the office of the chief justice has remained vacant for nearly three months.
In the past, the longest period the post lay vacant was less than two weeks, that too under extraordinary circumstances.
During the first martial law regime after Bangabandhu's assassination on August 15, 1975, the then Chief Justice ASM Sayem became the president and the chief martial law administrator.
He resigned as chief justice on November 5, 1975, leaving the post vacant for 13 days until Justice Syed AB Mahmud Husain was appointed chief justice on November 18.
The second time was in 1990, the last year of HM Ershad's autocratic rule, when he was facing tremendous pressure to step down. The then Chief Justice Badrul Haider Chowdhury retired on January 1, 1990. The office remained vacant for 13 days until Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed assumed the office of chief justice on January 14.
In all other cases, the post of chief justice remained vacant only for a day, according to records of the apex court since 1972.
Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, the 21st chief justice of the country, had resigned on November 10 while he was abroad. He resigned amid flak from the ruling quarters over different issues, including cancellation of the 16th constitutional amendment.
He had gone on leave on “health grounds” on October 3 last year, and left the country on October 13.
On October 3, the president gave Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, senior-most judge of the Appellate Division of the SC, the responsibility of discharging the duties of the chief justice.
According to article 95 (1) of the constitution, the president appoints the chief justice.
And appointing the senior-most judge of the Appellate Division to the post of CJ has become a norm.
Legal experts have termed the vacancy unprecedented and said the post of the chief justice, who leads one of the three organs of the state, should not be left vacant for such a long time.