By Sumi Khan
Dhaka, Aug 13 (IANS) A Dhaka court on Thursday framed charges against former Chief Justice of Bangladesh Surendra Kumar Sinha and 10 others in a case pertaining to misappropriation and laundering of about 4 crore Bangladeshi taka (BTK) from the Farmers Bank in 2016.
Among the accused, six are former officials of Farmers Bank. The charges were framed against Sinha and seven others in absentia.
Sinha had resigned on November 11, 2017. He is peresently in the US.
The court fixed August 18 to start the trial of the case.
Earlier on January 5, another Dhaka court had accepted the charges and issued arrest warrants against all the accused who were shown as fugitives in the chargesheet.
They include former Managing Director AKM Shamim, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Credit Division Gazi Salahuddin, first Vice President of Credit Division Swapan Kumar Roy, first Vice President Shafiuddin Askary, former Chairman of the bank’s audit committee Mahbubul Haque Chisty and Vice President Lutful Haque.
Besides, four others — Shahjahan, a resident of Tangail’s Sreehoripur village, Ranjit Chandra Saha of Jodunathpur village and his wife Santi Roy, and nephew Niranjan Chandra Saha — have also been indicted.
Of them, Shamim and Salahuddin are now on out bail, while Mahbubul Haque Chisty is in jail. Besides, eight others were also shown as fugitives in the chargesheet in the case.
Shamim, Salahuddin and Chisty had claimed to be innocent and demanded justice after Judge Shaikh Nazmul Alam of the Special Judge Court-4 had read out the charges to them.
Following the issuance of arrest warrants, Shamim and Salahudin had secured bail from the court while Chisty was arrested as he was in jail in connection with another case filed in July 2018.
On December 10 last year, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had pressed charges against the 11 persons in connection with the case.
Farmers Bank was later renamed Padma Bank.
The ACC, in October 2018 said that it found evidence of fraud involving transactions of 4 crore BTK borrowed with fake documents by two businessmen, Shahjahan and Niranjan, from the bank. The money was later deposited in Sinha’s account.
On July 10 last year, the ACC of Bangladesh had filed the case with its Integrated District Office-1 of Dhaka against former CJ Sinha and 10 others in this regard.