Arrest warrant issued against the first Hindu justice president of Bangladesh for alleged bribery

DHAKA: An arrest warrant was issued against Bangladesh's first Indian chief of justice accused of embezzlement of 40 million taka, court officials said Sunday.

Sinha, 68, who lives in the United States, has been described as a fugitive by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on its charge sheet.

Judge KM Emrul Kayesh, of the Superior Court of Special Judges, was aware of the corruption charges filed against Sinha and 10 others by the ACC.

The judge ordered his (Sinha) arrest along with 10 others, as the ACC accused him of embezzlement and laundering of 4 crore taka (USD 471,993) in 2016, public prosecutor Taposh Kumar Pal told reporters.

The rest of the defendants are former senior officials of Farmers Bank, including their former managing director.

The ACC on its charge sheet described the 11 as fugitives. He alleged that Sinha and 10 others embezzled 40 million taka from Farmers Bank, which was later renamed Padma Bank Limited, Pal said.

The development occurred almost three months after the ACC said it found evidence of fraud involving transactions of 40 million taka borrowed with false documents by two bank businessmen, while the amount was deposited in Sinha's account.

Sinha, who is said to have applied for asylum in the U.S. UU., He served as the 21st President Judge of Bangladesh from January 2015 to November 2017.

The case came days after Sinha's newly launched autobiography put him in the spotlight more than two years after he was forced to resign amid a dispute with the government.

The ACC said earlier that, if necessary, he would interrogate Sinha by taking him back home, but the interrogation is not a mandatory provision for investigations.

In his autobiography A broken dream: Rule of law, human rights and democracy, Sinha said he was forced to resign in 2017 after intimidation and threats, which caused a strong reaction from the prime minister Sheikh Hasina who accused some anti-government newspapers of supporting him.

In an interview with the media after the book was launched in Washington, Sinha urged India to support the rule of law and democracy in Bangladesh, calling the current Awami League government autocratic.

Sinha, the first Bangladeshi chief justice of the minority Hindu community, claimed that he was forced to resign because he opposed the anti-democratic and authoritarian regime in Bangladesh.