The High Court on Tuesday said that the image and dignity of the highest court was tarnished by a letter the Appellate Division office issued stating that the Anti-Corruption Commission should take no action against former Appellate Division judge Md Joynul Abedin on allegation of possessing illegal wealth.
On March 28, Appellate Division additional registrar Arunav Chakrabarty issued the letter responding to the commission’s letter seeking service record and salary statements of Justice Joynul Abedin to inquire into the allegation that he had wealth disproportionate to his legal income.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim made the observation in its verdict disposing of a ruling it issued suo moto on October 9, as Supreme Court lawyer Bodiuzzaman Tapadar drew the court’s attention to newspapers report on the letter.
In the ruling, the court asked the commission and the Appellate Division additional registrar to explain the legality of the letter.
The court, however, disposed of the ruling as the Supreme Court administration had later provided the commission with necessary document it sought for and the commission continued the probe into the allegation against Justice Joynul, said the verdict.
The letter had told the commission that verdicts, including death sentences, delivered by Justice Joynul as judge of the High Court and the Appellate Division would become controversial if the commission took action against him.
The verdict said that the letter was issued giving a message that a retired Supreme Court judge could not be prosecuted for his involvement in crimes.
None should enjoy impunity from criminal liability, except the president while he is in the office, the verdict said.
The verdict said that the commission should be cautious while conducting inquiry into the allegations against a retired Supreme Court judge keeping in view the dignity and prestige of the judiciary.
It said that the commission should also be cautious that none was subjected to unnecessary harassment and humiliation with any ulterior motive. 
The verdict said that the conduct of the commission in dealing with Justice Joynul’s case ‘was not at all satisfactory’ as it failed to complete the process in the past seven years.
Mainul Hosein appeared for Joynul and the commission was presented by Khurshid Alam Khan. 

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