The High Court (HC) today ordered the surrender of Niranjan and Shahjahan, who were acquitted in a money laundering case filed against 11 people including ex-CJ SK Sinha for embezzling Tk4 crore from Farmers Bank (now Padma Bank).
A High Court bench comprising Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman also issued a ruling asking why the accused would not be punished by quashing their acquittal.
Lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said that Shahjahan and Niranjan opened a bank account in Farmers Bank. They also applied for loans which were later approved.
As a result, they have incited the main crime. However, the court ruled that they were not benefited by the laundering so acquitted them.
On 20 December, the ACC appealed against their release in the relevant branch of the High Court as they were accomplices to the crime.
On November 9, the court sentenced former chief justice Surendra Kumar (SK) Sinha to 11 years in prison in the case (seven years for money laundering and another four for embezzlement).
Besides, eight accused in the case have been sentenced to different terms. The court acquitted two others as their involvement was not proven.
Judge Sheikh Nazmul Alam of Dhaka Special Judge's Court-4 had pronounced the verdict. The judge also mentioned in the verdict that the punishment of the two sections will continue together.
Besides, SK Sinha's Tk78 lakh was confiscated in favour of the state.
Former chairman of the audit committee of Farmers Bank Md Mahbubul Haque Chishti (Babul Chishti), Ranjit Chandra Saha and his wife Santri Roy have been sentenced to three years in prison.
In the same case, the bank's first vice president Swapan Kumar Roy, vice president Md Lutful Haque, former SEVP Gazi Salahuddin and First Vice President Safiuddin Askari were sentenced to three years in prison and fined Tk25,000 each.
SK Sinha, Safiuddin Askari, Ranjit Chandra Saha and his wife Santri Roy are absconding.
The other six accused who were out on bail appeared in court.
Apart from Shahjahan and Niranjan Chandra Saha, others were convicted. After the verdict was announced, they were taken to jail on a warrant.
The case was filed by the ACC on 10 July, 2019 against 11 people, including SK Sinha, for embezzling a loan of Tk 4 crore from Farmers Bank (now Padma Bank).
Syed Iqbal Hossain, director of the agency, filed the case at the ACC's integrated district office, Dhaka-1.
On 9 December 2019, the ACC filed a charge-sheet against the 11 people. On 13 August last year, the court framed charges against all the accused.
SK Sinha's decline
SK Sinha was sworn in as the 21st chief justice of the country on 17 January 2015.
He was caught up in an unprecedented tug-of-war over the verdict relating to the repeal of the 16th amendment to the Constitution that left parliament with the power to remove Supreme Court judges.
There was also strong criticism from various quarters of the government. At the time, after taking leave, the then chief justice went abroad on 14 October 2017 and sent his resignation letter from there on 11 November.
According to various sources, the former chief justice has been living in Canada after spending some time in the US.
Apart from this embezzlement case, the ACC on 7 October sued SK Sinha for taking the allotment of a government plot of land by misusing his powers and accumulating assets illegally.