Government Policy

No one is above law, Sinha’s conviction proves that: Law Minister

Law Minister Anisul Huq on Tuesday said it has been proved with the conviction of former Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha that no one is above the law.

“The verdict proves no one is above the law. I think an example has been set with this. If anyone holds any constitutional or top government post he or she has to be accountable for his or her activities,” Anisul told reporters at the secretariat.

“I’m not very happy with it. This cannot be a pleasant experience for me. He was the chief justice, and I’m a lawyer. I’ve been involved in the judiciary all my life,” said the minister.

“From this verdict, we should learn that transparency and accountability should always be maintained, and those who hold important positions of the state have to be more careful,” he added.

Replying to a question, he said, “In Bangladesh history, no chief justice had committed such unlawful work. So, there was no need to hold any trial.”

Replying to another question, the minister said this verdict proves that the rule of law exists and the nation has come out of the culture of injustice which was there from 1975 to 1996.

Conviction

Earlier in the day, a special court in Dhaka sentenced former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha to 11 years’ imprisonment in a case filed over laundering Tk 4 crore.

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.

Source: United News of Bangladesh