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'Former Bangladesh president tried to remove judges'

world Updated: Jul 17, 2009 13:52 IST

Former Bangladesh president Iajuddin Ahmed, who headed the previous caretaker government, had invited judges to tea 'to remove them from office' by framing them on corruption charges, a serving judge has alleged.

Justice SK Sinha, newly elevated to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, on Thursday made the allegation in the presence of Chief Justice MM Ruhul Amin at a felicitation function, the New Age newspaper said on Friday.

As the country's president, Iajuddin Ahmed had for a brief period doubled as the chief adviser, performing prime ministerial functions in a caretaker government.

After the general election was cancelled in January 2007, he declared national emergency and yielded power to another caretaker government that ruled during 2007-08.

"The tenure of the emergency regime is memorable to me as the autocratic government had tried to remove me in an unconstitutional manner but I could overcome the situation as the lawyers stood beside me," Sinha said.

"In reply to an invitation for having a cup of tea with president Iajuddin Ahmed, I had written to him saying, 'Both you and me have taken oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution...We must go by our oaths'," said Justice Sinha.

The newspaper said that during the military-controlled interim regime of 2007-08, reports had it that the president's office had invited some Supreme Court judges to have a cup of tea with the president in order to remove them on charges of corruption.

Justice AK Badrul Haque resigned as a high court judge on March 2, 2008 amid such a situation, assigning health grounds for his resignation.