3 HC judges asked to refrain from duties
Staff Reporter :
Three High Court judges have been temporarily relieved of their judicial duties after a probe into allegations of professional misconduct against them was initiated.
The judges are Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury, Justice A K M Zahirul Hoque and Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque.
The names of the three judges did not appear in the Supreme Court's working schedule for Thursday.
As speculation of the probe against the three judges began surfacing on Thursday morning, the Supreme Court and the Law Ministry remained tight-lipped about the matter.
But the move was eventually confirmed by Md Saifur Rahman, a special officer of the High Court Division, in the afternoon.
"In light of a primary probe against the three judges of the High Court, they were told to refrain from their judicial duties upon the consultation with the President Md Abdul Hamid," he said.
He said, "The three judges later submitted applications seeking leave."
But the Supreme Court administration official refused to disclose details of the probe. When the journalists wanted to know from him if the names were Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury, Justice A K M Zahirul Hoque and Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque, then Saifur Rahman replied, "You have written already."
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said, "The Chief Justice has taken this decision after consultation with the President. They will take further decision in this regard for the interest of the judiciary."
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Secretary Barrister A M Mahbub Uddin Khokan said, "The Chief Justice has taken initiatives against the three judges of the HC division. We welcome this decision."
The allegations of corruption and misconduct against some of the Supreme Court judges are quite old. Recently an allegation was raised against the HC bench led by Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury.
On May 16, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court expressed dissatisfaction over the HC bench led by Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury as it delivered an 'unusual order'.
While hearing a civil case by a seven-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by the Chief Justice, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam prayed to the SC to take initiatives against the 'unusual order' delivered by the HC bench by sending the item to President Md Abdul Hamid.
Then the SC disposed of the case with observations. The Appellate Division had been aggrieved with that 'unusual order' of the HC bench. Besides, the court fined the defendant Tk 1 crore.
The Appellate Division mentioned the incident, which happened with a verdict of that HC bench, as illegal.
After that incident, the Supreme Court sent written allegation against some judges of the High Court division of the Supreme Court, including Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury, to the President.