Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has made an unprecedented move in the country's judiciary by appealing to President Abdul Hamid to impeach Chief Justice SK Sinha out of a personal issue between them.
Justice Shamsuddin accused the
Chief Justice (CJ) of being'"biased" against him by not including him
to any Bench in recent weeks and asking him to complete writing the
pending judgements before he goes into retirement on September 17.
Justice Shamsuddin refused to comply, and accused the Chief Justice of
breaching his oath of justice and violating the Constitution. In fact
Justice Shamsuddin violated his oath s justice by making his letters to
the President public through the media.
But we cannot understand how
Justice Shamsuddin, being an SC judge, choose to file such allegations
against the Chief Justice and appeal to the President to impeach him.
This is a audacity, impertinence and violation of the code of conduct of
a judge. Instead of the Chief Justice, Mr Shamsuddin needs to be
impeached for tarnishing the image and dignity of the judiciary.
Shamsuddin also did several other misdeeds or acts of misconduct by
releasing illegally recorded audio clips of conversations between
himself and the CJ in a contempt of court case against the Daily
Janakantha and later distributing copies of letters exchanged between
them to the journalists. This amounts to gross misconduct on the part of
a sitting judge and an aspersion on the judiciary.
Shamsuddin claimed to have sent the copies of the letter he sent to the
President also to the Prime Minister, Law Minister and others. But
surprisingly, the offices of the President and the Law Minister have
denied having received any such letter.
However, whether they
received the letter or not, Justice Shamsuddin's letter has little
significance to the whole context of the burgeoning game plan drawn by
the retiring judge. The question is whether Shamsuddin can make such a
move to seek the impeachment of the head of the judiciary, has he worked
within his right or oath as a judge? It's a matter for the President
and his office to evaluate and decide.
Apparently Justice Shamsuddin
acted beyond his permitted parameters completely out of personal grudge
or revenge against the CJ for asking him to complete writing the pending
judgements before he goes into retirement.
There is no doubt that
the CJ acted prudently - though Justice Shamsuddin mentioned in reply to
the President's letter that there are precedence of writing judgements
after retirement. But his case is different. Shamsuddin holds British
citizenship and it makes it very likely that going into retirement he
may step out of the country and go into virtual oblivion. Then it will
be extremely difficult for the CJ and his office to get hold of him for
writing the judgments, which will cause immense sufferings to justice
Justice Shamsuddin's tendency to delay or avoid writing the
pending judgements has been quite evident in the judiciary and that's
why the CJ had rightly asked him to finish his job first. But Shamsuddin
would not take heed and instead jumped into a gamble which has not only
demeaned the image and honour of the judiciary but probably may have
set a bad example in the history of the judiciary in the country.
the premises of the judiciary, Justice Shamsuddin is also known for
creating controversies and his latest overture has reconfirmed this. He
has acted beyond judicial norms.
Now, many in the judicial business
feel that Shamsuddin should be paid in his own coin. He should be
impeached for disregarding the CJ and trying to make fabricated
allegations against him. Justice SK Sinha as a highly respected person
was promoted to CJ by the President. Many in the judiciary feel that
because Justice Shamsuddin failed to become the CJ he is throwing his
salvos against the CJ and the supreme judiciary.
Shamsuddin's audacity must be addressed properly, his attempt to
fracture judiciary and tarnish its image should not be ignored. He is
going into retirement after long years in service. Due to his
controversial and condemnable role he will not get a befitting farewell
by the Supreme Court Bar and his colleagues.
Judges are not beyond the law. Justice Shamsuddin probably had forgotten this truth.