Surendra Kumar Sinha, who led the Supreme Court to a landmark verdict on judicial oversight in August that went against the government, left Bangladesh last month amid widespread rumours that he had been pressured to step aside. He is scheduled to retire on January 31 next. "Nothing regarding the resignation of Justice SK Sinha or appointment of new chief justice has come to my office from the president's office".
On October 2, the Chief Justice applied to President Md Abdul Hamid for a one-month leave that ended on November 1.
Reports said Mr. Sinha left Singapore on Friday for Canada to see his ailing daughter.
Amid flak from the ruling quarters over different issues including the 16th amendment verdict, Justice Sinha resigned on Saturday. Before leaving home, Sinha said he "firmly believes" that his stance over the verdict was misinterpreted to the government, upsetting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina but expected her to realise soon the fact.
According to the apex court, Sinha faces 11 specific charges, including graft, money laundering and moral lapse, for which his colleagues in the Appellate Division refused to work with him. "He had no other option but to resign as no one in the judiciary with corruption charges or moral turpitude should hold his post", he said. In unitary Bangladesh, the Supreme Court has two wings, the High Court Division and the apex Appellate Division.
A day after Sinha's departure, the Supreme Court in a rare statement described Sinha's statement as "misleading".
"It's now clear to the entire nation that the government has taken all the steps to send the Chief Justice overseas by force", Alamgir said. Former law and justice minister Moudud Ahmed, now a member of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), called the resignation "unprecedented and shameful".
"His resignation will not have any effect on the country's judiciary".
The President had appointed senior most judge of the apex court Abdul Wahhab Miah as the acting chief justice.