An Official Response To The Impeachment Of The Chief Justice Suggests Legitimacy, Being Within The Constitution And Valid Despite All The Protestations !
Posted on December 4th, 2012

Insight By Sunil Kumar

December 5th 2012

 The Sri Lankan Government has officially declared the reasons why a motion of impeachment against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayeke was necessary, in a report to the global media where the reasons presented by a senior aide of the President to support this suggests legitimacy, being within the constitution and valid despite all the ongoing protestations from from many quarters in support of the Chief Justice.

It might come from the High Buddhist Clergy, the Bar Associations or for that matter from the rest of the world arguing for a principle but the fact of the matter is NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW and this is the most compelling argument that favours the Government whose impeachment motion does appear to carry validity where the only redeeming grace for the Chief Justice is that she remains innocent until proven guilty.

 The Government report  has suggested that the proceedings were prompted by  the CJ’s husband improper and irregular financial dealings about which a fairly substantial charge sheet has been posted and various other improprieties which the Government alleges was known to the CJ and what reason would there be to doubt such accusations as this was between husband and wife in a happy marital relationship it is assumed and perhaps one of the reasons towards  forcing the the hand of the Government where the issue of the abuse of power, dubious land deals, the transfer of large and purportedly unaccountable sums of money  and a high handed, authoritative attitude  maintained by her also comes into play as the basis for the impeachment.

 The report suggests that alarm bell had rung in Parliament as a result of a group of Parliamentarians who had brought to the notice of President Mahinda Rajapaksa the conduct of the Chief Justice relative to the accusations which although needing to be proven beyond a doubt do appear to be of a kind which simply could not be swept under the carpet or ignored as reported.

It suggested that the CJ and her husband acted improperly, contravened legislative regulations and violated the very concept of the Legal Justice System and of an ongoing nature to moot which suggests a blatant disregard to the protocols which govern the conduct of a Chief Justice relative to her high office, also in collaboration with her husband and only when the number of acts began increasing alarmingly did the executives of the legislature take up the issue, it said. There were many bank accounts “many more than what is there in the charge sheet,” and she did not declare any of these, the report alleged where The Chief Justice has denied these allegations.

 What the report has emphatically stated is “that the impeachment process is not because she was seeking to abort our work,” and exemplified how the Government dealt with the judgement on the Divineguma Bill as an example. The Supreme Court held that some portions of the Bill, which centralises powers within a Ministry, had to be passed by a two-thirds majority and one provision had to be approved through a referendum. Also, a crucial aspect on the Ministry holding the finances and spending it was held as unconstitutional. The SC had maintained that all money should be handled through the Consolidated Fund.

The Sri Lankan Government abided by the judgement, and made it clear that it would seek the required parliamentary approvals for the Bill. Also the finances would be routed through the Consolidated Fund. “In doing all this, the Government has acted as per the provisions of the Constitution and argues in this instance also that the judiciary needs to act in a similar manner.

 The report has also concluded that it was “improper” for the Chief Justice to hear cases at a time when impeachment proceedings had been moved against her which might also be interpreted as irregular and a disregard for the requirement of the law which coming from the Chief Justice of the land somewhat perplexing towards the interpretation of the law and in all probabilities contravened it.

 Words of wisdom towards all the proceedings ongoing have come from a wise sage in a very acceptable capacity, former Chief Justice Sarath Silva who himself was a victim in an earlier impeachment proceeding which eventually fizzled out into a no contest. He has said that “there was nothing wrong in this case. “Chief Justice or no Chief Justice, one cannot have improprieties and that is fundamental. That is why I have no objection against this case,” as was reported in the Sri Lankan Financial Times which quoted further says that”

in the opinion of the former Chief Justice the charges against Chief Justice Bandaranayeke included financial improprieties. The crucial matter is that there is a case of bribery against the Chief Justice’s husband. I feel the Chief Justice should have been well advised to take leave during that period and allow that case to go on. Or some such mechanism should have been resorted to in discussion with the President to avoid such a situation,”  end of quote

 Therefore it may not be an appropriate time for those supporting the CJ’s innocence to persist in what may turn out to be a compelling case for impeachment if all the aforementioned details and statistics relative to proceedings were taken into account despite the eventual slur to Sri Lanka’s Judiciary an embarrasing as well as an eventual anomaly based on the irresponsibilities of certain high ups in the learned profession as the case appers to be where one wonders about where all the learning was acquired!

One Response to “An Official Response To The Impeachment Of The Chief Justice Suggests Legitimacy, Being Within The Constitution And Valid Despite All The Protestations !”

  1. lingamAndy Says:

    The Impeachment Of The Chief Justice
    Two financial problms
    1) CJ financial matters (how she got this much of public money ( exclude hers salary eg: one lack ))
    2)“that the impeachment process is not because she was seeking to abort ( stop stealing public money) our work,”

    end of the day who steal more….. insAllha !!!! Velu where are you ???

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