BNP policymakers alleged on Saturday that the last Chief Justice had been compelled to quit.
Stalwarts of the main political opposition, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Moudud Ahmed, said Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha was forced to resign.
The former postmaster general of the inaugural government under the founding president Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Moudud Ahmed said, “This stigmatises the judiciary and raises questions about the independence of the court.”
BNP’s farmer’s wing, Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Sangskritik Dal, arranged a programme at the Jatiya Press Club, marking the ‘National Revolution and Solidarity Day’.
Moudud, also a former law minister of the BNP government, said the ruling government acted against Sinha because his observations in the case regarding the 16th amendment went against it. “They could have sought redress through the due course of law,” said Moudud Ahmed mentioning that the ruling party had instead resorted to concerted personal attacks on the top judge of the top court.
“We don’t know how much the government has gained through Sinha’s resignation, but the entire nation has been badly affected.”
Mosharraf said they had come to know from the media and different sources that the Chief Justice has stepped down. “We’ve also heard that he (Sinha) had come as far as Singapore to return home, but couldn’t do it. We’re very concerned over the matter.”
Speaking at a discussion, he said, “It is unfortunate and shameful that the Chief Justice was sent on forced leave falsely citing sickness and then had him resign.”
Mosharraf said the government was apprehensive about Sinha remaining at the helm of the Supreme Court, he might declare the uncontested election of 154 ruling party MPs illegal. “We heard that he was forced to quit for that reason.”
He was speaking at another programme in memory of BNP standing committee member MK Anwar who died on October 24 last.
President Abdul Hamid received the resignation letter said his press secretary Joynal Abedin on Saturday.
Surendra Kumar Sinha went on leave on October 3 on citing health grounds and left for Australia on October 13 and his 39-day leave expired on Friday.