President signs CJ’s leave order
President Abdul Hamid on Wednesday signed the government order (GO) allowing planned Australia tour of Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, who is on a sick leave.
The President signed the order just after returning to the capital from Kishoreganj in the evening, law secretary Abu Saleh Sheikh Md Zahirul Haque told the Daily Observer.
Earlier in the afternoon, Law minister Anisul Huq said, "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already signed the GO for the planned travel of the Chief
aJustice." "A GO is required for government officials and employees to visit any foreign country," he added.
Justice Sinha plans to travel abroad on Oct 13, the law secretary has said citing a letter.
Secretary ASSM Zahirul Haque told journalists on Tuesday that the letter from the Chief Justice to President Md Abdul Hamid reached the law ministry in the afternoon.
"The chief justice has sent the letter to us to inform the president that he is travelling abroad. It (forwarding the letter to the president) is under process now," he said.
Referring to the Chief Justice's letter to the President, the Law Secretary said that Justice Sinha would leave Bangladesh on October 13 and return on November 10.
Justice Sinha's sick leave following criticism by the ruling Awami League leaders over the 16th amendment appeals verdict has created many speculations and discussions in the political arena.
The BNP alleges that the government has in fact forced him to go on the one-month leave just three months before his retirement for delivering the verdict repealing parliament's powers to sack judges.
The government denies the allegation, saying there is no connection between the verdict and the leave.
The tenure of Justice Sinha, who took charge as chief justice on January 17, 2015, is ending on January 31.
He sat at his office for the last time on Aug 24 before the annual Supreme Court vacation started and went on leave when the court resumed on October 3.
According to the leave application that Law Minister Anisul Huq had showed the media, the chief justice wants to take rest until November 1 following health issues after long treatment for cancer.
Justice Abdul Wahhab Miah, the most senior judge after the chief justice in the Appellate Division, is standing in as chief justice now.
Now the chief justice's leave needs to be extended if he wants to return on November 10.