Charges of abusing power for land plot allotment and construction of building by money earned through illegal activities brought
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has brought charges of abuse of office against former Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha involving land plots allotted to him and a member of his family from the Dhaka city development authority (Rajuk).
On Thursday, the graft watchdog filed a case with the ACC Integrated District Office Dhaka-1, the commission’s Secretary Anwar Hossain Hawlader told the media.
A Dhaka court is set to deliver its verdict on October 21 in another ACC case against Sinha over embezzlement of Tk 4 crore in credit from a bank.
According to details of the case started on Thursday, Sinha abused his office to get himself allotted a five-katha land plot at the capital’s Uttara Residential Area, where he constructed a nine-storey building.
The money spent for acquiring the plot and constructing the building was “not earned through legal means”, according to investigators.
ACC Secretary Hawlader told the media that Justice Sinha paid Rajuk Tk7.5 lakh for the plot.
The case documents state that an evaluation by an independent engineering firm found that Tk6.13 crore was spent for the construction of the nine-storey building on the plot at Uttara’s Sector-4.
Sinha also abused his office to allot a three-katha plot at the Rahuk’s Purbachal Housing Project for his brother Narendra Kumar Sinha, said Hawlader.
“He later converted the plot to a five-khata one by misusing his power and also made the Rajuk to transfer the allotment from Purbachal to Uttara,” he added.
The anti-graft agency has brought charges against Sinha under the 2004 Anti-Corruption Act, the 1947 Corruption Prevention Act and the Money Laundering Prevention Act.
“The money [spent on acquiring the land and constructing the building] is inconsistent with his known income sources. The money earned through illegal activities has been moved, transformed and transacted through several people” reads the case document.
Sinha came under fire from the ruling Awami League over his verdict to scrap the 16th amendment to the constitution, which restored parliament’s power to sack top judges on the grounds of incapability and misconduct.
He left the country on leave in October 2017. Later he submitted his resignation from abroad nearly three months before the end of his term to become the first Chief Justice in the history of Bangladesh to quit.
Following his resignation, the Supreme Court said in statement that Sinha had been facing 11 specific charges, including corruption, money laundering, financial irregularities, and moral blunder.