Justice Sinha steps down

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Chief Justice SK Sinha

PV Desk : Bangladesh’s chief justice resigned about six weeks after he went on leave amid criticism by the ruling party over a top court verdict scrapping a constitutional amendment.
Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha was the first top judge in Bangladesh to have stepped down.

The president’s office said on Saturday that they received a letter of resignation from Sinha, who is now abroad.

Sinha was appointed to the top court as the chief justice in January 2015, with his term scheduled to end on Jan 31, 2018.

He came under fire from the ruling party after the Supreme Court scrapped a constitutional amendment to sack higher court judges.

Bangladesh parliament passed the constitution’s 16th amendment in 2014, which empowered lawmakers to investigate and sack top judges on the grounds of incapability and misconduct.

The High Court declared it unconstitutional in 2016 after a petition by lawyers. The state challenged the decision, but it was upheld by the Appellate Division in July this year.

The verdict revived the Supreme Judicial Council, a provision brought during military ruler and BNP founder Ziaur Rahman’s regime, to remove top court judges.

The Supreme Court published the full verdict on Aug 1, drawing harsh criticism from the Awami League government.