Attorney General Mahbubey Alam has defended the reported decision of Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha to travel abroad after taking a leave of absence on health grounds, describing it as a “personal matter”.
Mahbubey was talking to reporters at his office on Thursday amid rumours that the chief justice will use his one month of enforced leave - which started on Tuesday and runs until November 1 - to visit Australia and Canada.
“The chief justice has visited (these countries) before. As far as I know, one of his daughters lives in Australia and another in Canada,” he said.
“It’s his personal matter to decide whether he will go abroad and where he goes. It is better that no one creates any confusion over this.”
The controversy from various quarters over the exact circumstances surrounding Chief Justice Sinha’s one month of leave spilled over into a meeting of Appellate Division judges and Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) leaders on Thursday morning.
The attorney general said that in the meeting, the SCBA president and several others had asked the acting chief justice, Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, about the location and health of Justice Sinha.
“The acting chief justice told them that Justice Sinha was currently at his home. Justice Miah also denied their plea for an order letting them meet Chief Justice Sinha as the matter does not fall under the Appellate Division’s jurisdiction,” Mahbubey said.
“The acting chief justice also told the Bar members that they should have met him on the day he started discharging the duties of the chief justice.”
The attorney general said Justice Miah also told the SCBA leaders that they could have met him at this chamber about this issue instead of in the courtroom.
Mahbubey Alam dismissed a claim from SCBA President Zainul Abedin that the attorney general’s office was being used for “political activities”.
“This is just an unnecessary false allegation...We never talk about anything outside the purview of the law and irrelevant to the cases,” he said.
“It was them who politicised this office in many ways and tried to turn it into the mouthpiece of a political party.”
This article was first published in Bangla Tribune