Bangladesh courtroom indicts nation’s first Hindu Chief Justice, 10 others in graft case

Dhaka, August 13

A Dhaka courtroom on Thursday indicted Bangladesh’s first Hindu Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha and 10 others on costs of embezzling 40 million taka from a financial institution, a courtroom official mentioned.

The indictment comes seven months after one other Dhaka courtroom issued an arrest warrant in opposition to the 69-year-old ex-chief justice who lives within the US and was described as a “fugitive” by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in its charge-sheet.

“The court today framed charges against SK Sinha and 10 others, beginning their trial in the Farmers Bank scandal,” mentioned a prosecution lawyer in Dhaka.

He mentioned six of the accused within the case have been former officers of the financial institution whereas among the many relaxation features a reported aide of Sinha.

The prosecutor mentioned solely three of the accused confronted the trial in individual as the remainder have been “on the run to evade justice”.

The courtroom officers mentioned Special Judge Shaikh Nazmul Alam learn out the costs and set August 18 because the date for the following listening to.

The ACC filed costs in opposition to Sinha and 10 others whereas the courtroom referred the case to the impartial graft physique for investigation.

The ACC mentioned it discovered proof of fraud involving transactions of 40 million taka ($4,72,995) borrowed with faux paperwork by two businessmen from the financial institution in 2016. The cash was deposited in Sinha’s account.

Sinha now lives within the US the place he’s mentioned to have sought asylum. The graft case was lodged days after his newly launched autobiography introduced him in political highlight a 12 months after he was pressured to give up amid a row with the federal government.

In his autobiography, “A Broken Dream: Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy”, Sinha says he was pressured to resign in 2017 following intimidation and threats.

His feedback had drawn a pointy response from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who accused some anti-government newspapers of backing him.

In a media interview after the e book launch in Washington, Sinha urged India to assist the rule of legislation and democracy in Bangladesh.

He mentioned the Indian authorities mustn’t ignore the peoples’ will by backing the “autocratic” Awami League-led authorities and alleged that he was pressured to resign as a result of he opposed the “undemocratic” and “authoritarian” regime.

Sinha, Bangladesh’s first chief justice from the minority Hindu neighborhood, served because the 21st Chief Justice of Bangladesh from January 2015 to November 2017. PTI

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