Government Policy

Ex-CJ Sinha gets 11 years in graft case

A special court in Dhaka on Tuesday sentenced former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha to 11 years’ imprisonment in a case filed over laundering Tk 4 crore.

Judge of the Dhaka Special (Court-4) Sheikh Nazmul Alam Khan handed down the verdict.

The court also fined S K Sinha Tk 45 lakh, in default, to suffer six months more rigorous imprisonment.

It also ordered the authorities concerned to confiscate Tk 78 lakh from his bank account.

The court also sentenced eight other accused in the case to different jail terms while acquitted two others — Md Shahjahan and Niranjan Chandra Saha –as allegations brought against them were not proved.

Former managing director of Farmers Bank AKM Shamim got four years’ jail with a fine of Tk 50,000 while Santri Roy Simi and Ranjit Chandra Saha were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment each with a fine of Tk 10,000.

The remaining four accused — Gazi Salahuddin, senior executive vice president and former head of credit division of the bank, Swapan Kumar Roy, first vice president (Credit division), Shafiuddin Askari Ahmed, vice president Md Lutful Haque — were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment each and fined Tk 25,000 each.

On July 10, 2019, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case accusing former chief justice SK Sinha and 10 others of accumulating illegal wealth and laundering Tk 4 crore.

Earlier, the judgment in the graft case was scheduled to be delivered on October 5 and then it was deferred to October 21 as the judge was on leave.

On August 29, seven of the 11 accused in the case pleaded “not guilty”.

They are Mahbubul Haque Chisty, former audit committee chairman of Farmers Bank, former managing director of the bank AKM Shamim, first vice-presidents Swapan Kumar Rat and Md Lutful Haque, and former senior executive vice presidents (SEVPs) Gazi Salahudiin, Md Shahjahan and Niranjan Chandra Saha.

On August 24, the defence lawyers grilled the investigating officer of the case, Benazir Ahmed, also the director of the ACC. Twenty-one witnesses had testified in the case.

On September 25, 2019, the anti-graft body summoned five officials of Farmers Bank for interrogation over the deposit of Tk 4 crore in CJ Sinha’s account with the Supreme Court branch of Sonali Bank.

On December 10, 2019, the investigation officer in the case submitted a chargesheet against the 11 accused. On August 13, 2020, a court framed charges against the 11, including Sinha.

Source: United News of Bangladesh