President Md Abdul Hamid has accepted the resignation of Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha.
Confirming the news, the president’s Press Secretary Joynul Abedin said after the president accepted the resignation letter yesterday, Bangabhaban has sent the letter to the law ministry for taking the next course of action over the issue.
Earlier on November 11, SK Sinha resigned his post amid a row over the Supreme Court’s verdict on the 16th Amendment to the Constitution.
The resignation came when SK Sinha was staying abroad on one-month leave on health grounds.
Senior BNP leader Moudud Ahmed said SK Sinha was forced to resign, an allegation dismissed by Awami League leader Abdul Matin Khasru as hypothetical.
Law Minister Anisul Huq said at a press briefing on Saturday that as SK Sinha has stepped down, acting Chief Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah will continue his duty until a new chief justice is appointed by the President.
Earlier, the minister said SK Sinha will be considered absent if he does not join office after the expiry of his leave period.
As Sinha did not come back home, he said, the matter will be dealt with in the light of Article 97 of the Constitution.
Asked about action against SK Sinha for suspected corruption, the minister said nobody is above law. “Law will take its own course.”
Talking to reporters, Attorney-General Mahbubey Alam said SK Sinha will remain as Chief Justice until President accepts his resignation letter.
Sinha dropped his resignation letter at Bangladesh High Commission in Singapore on Friday when he was going from Australia to Canada via Singapore, sources said.
Justice SK Sinha left Singapore for Canada by a flight of the China Southern Airlines on Friday morning.
On the night of October 13, the Chief Justice left Dhaka for Australia after receiving a clearance from the government for his overseas trip.
Before leaving his official residence, he told reporters that he was not physically sick, but a quarter was spreading rumours about his health condition.
“I’m neither ill nor am I fleeing.
I’ll return,” he said, alleging that some ministers misled the prime minister over the 16th Amendment verdict.
SK Sinha alleged that the government was interfering in the function of the judiciary. After his departure, Sinha is now facing 11 allegations of corruption and moral turpitude.
The ruling camp and pro-liberation people criticised his observations in the 16th amendment verdict for negating Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s contribution to the country’s independence.
In his observation, he said the country was not liberated due to the contribution of a single person. He termed the parliament dysfunctional and politicians devoid of collective wisdom.
Article 97 says if the office of the Chief Justice becomes vacant, or if the President is satisfied that the Chief Justice is, on account of absence, illness, or any other cause, unable to perform the functions of his office, those functions shall, until some other person has entered upon that office, or until the Chief Justice has resumed his duties, as the case may be, be performed by the next most senior Judge of the Appellate Division.