Farmers Bank Scam: Charges framed against ex-CJ Sinha, 10 others

A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against former chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha and 10 others in a case filed over misappropriating and laundering about Tk 4 crore from the erstwhile Farmers Bank in 2016.

Among the accused, six are former officials of the bank, later renamed Padma Bank. They are 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.

The four other accused are Shahjahan of Tangail’s Sreehoripur village, Ranjit Chandra Saha of the district’s Jodunathpur village, and his wife Santri Roy and nephew Niranjan Chandra Saha.

AKM Shamim and Gazi Salahuddin are now on bail while Mahbubul Haque Chisty is behind bars. The eight other accused were shown fugitives in the charge sheet of the case.

Claiming themselves to be innocent, Shamim, Salahuddin and Chisty demanded justice yesterday after Judge Shaikh Nazmul Alam of the Special Judge Court-4 of Dhaka read out the charges to them.

Charges were framed against Justice Sinha and seven others in abstentia.

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 fugitive accused.

Following the issuance of the warrants, Shamim and Salahudin secured bail from the court while Chisty was shown arrested as he was in jail in connection with another case filed in July 2018.

On December 10 last year, the Anti-Corruption Commission pressed charges against the 11 accused in the case.

The ACC in October, 2018 said it found evidence of fraud involving transactions of Tk 4 crore borrowed from the bank with fake documents by two businessmen, Shahjahan and Niranjan. Later, the money was deposited in Justice Sinha’s account in another bank.

The graft watchdog had filed the case with its Integrated District Office-1 of Dhaka on July 10 last year.

The accused face a maximum seven year’s jail term each if found guilty.

Justice Sinha, now in the US, had resigned as chief justice on November 11, 2017.

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