PSC has full powers to issue ex parte decision against CJ -SPEAKER GETS REPORT TODAY; NGO’S LIE ON PROCEEDINGS-CJ should not have boycotted PSC proceedings – Choksy
Posted on December 8th, 2012

The Daily News

* Fabricated account to malign PSC, locally, internationally

* Members prepare PSC report in quick time

The report of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to probe the impeachment charges against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake is to be handed over to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa today, sources said. Our sources said the PSC was preparing the report last evening after the Committee met in Parliament.

The process was cut-short as there was no defence offered by the person facing the charges, who walked out of the proceedings. Meanwhile, a totally scurrilous fabricated version of what transpired in the PSC meeting when Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake walked out of the day before, was circulated yesterday in the form of a media release by an organisation called the Sri Lanka Colombo Lawyers’ Collective.

Dean of the Faculty of Law, Kotelawala Defence University Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa, said eventhough Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake did not participate in the PSC hearing on the Impeachment motion against her, the PSC had full powers to issue an ex parte decision on the charges levelled against her.

Even in a normal case the hearing of the case is dismissed if the complainant failed to appear in Court. But an ex parte hearing takes place even if the defendant is not present. This same rule applied to the PSC hearing on the Impeachment motion, Mahanamahewa said. Whatever decision is taken by the Parliament which is supreme on the impeachment motion the final decision on the whole matter rested with the President. This is the normal system even in countries such as the US, Australia, UK and India. Sri Lanka is far ahead of them as regards democracy he added.

He said the PSC hearing the impeachment motion has been appointed by Parliament according to powers rested in it by the constitution. Even if a member of the PSC resigned, the speaker has full powers to replace him with another member according to the constitution.

Meanwhile the media briefing Headed by lawyer and NGO operative J C Weliamuna,  was set up by non-governmental organisation activists with the precise intention of distorting PSC proceedings and bringing the government into disrepute, particularly internationally.

The statement distributed at the press conference was unsigned, but purported to give an account of the PSC proceedings, and charged that the conduct of the PSC members was unbecoming.

The persons who distributed the media statement also took umbrage at perfectly reasonable questions asked by members of the PSC.

The press briefing was conducted in such a way as to give the impression that the Chief Justice’s Media unit was in operation. By all accounts, the information was fabricated, and calculated to malign the legislature and was in short — untruthful.

Lawyers, prominent among them J. C. Weliamuna who held the meeting in Hulftsdorp were later seen briefing media persons separately after the unsigned press briefing was distributed among them.

Clearly the conveners contravened all constitutional norms and Standing Orders in purporting to give an account of the PSC proceedings – – an “ƒ”¹…”account’ which was of course clearly distorted.

CJ should not have boycotted PSC proceedings – Choksy

Siranjani Kumari

Leading lawyer V. K. Choksy commenting on Thursday’s incident where Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake walked out from the PSC Impeachment process said if the Chief Justice was not guilty to the charges framed against her what she should have done was to participate in the PSC proceedings rather than boycotting it. Her walking away from the investigation process had denied the people from getting to know whether she is not guilty of the charges leveled against her in the impeachment motion against her.

Choksy said if the Chief Justice was present before the PSC hearings she could have easily made submissions to pure her innocence about the charges. PSC hearings are held in secrecy. But its final report tabled in Parliament will be known to the public. The action taken by the Chief Justice will prevent the people from knowing her side of the story. Now the PSC would definitely find the Chief Justice guilty of the charges framed against her.

Apart from this if representatives in the PSC are found guilty of defaming the Judiciary police can be directed to take them into custody. (Eg the SB case against former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva)

In such a case the President in his capacity as the head of the Executive and the Commander-in-Chief can order police not to carry out the Judiciary order. In this manner there is a tendency for a crisis to crop up among the Judiciary, Executive and the Legislature.

One Response to “PSC has full powers to issue ex parte decision against CJ -SPEAKER GETS REPORT TODAY; NGO’S LIE ON PROCEEDINGS-CJ should not have boycotted PSC proceedings – Choksy”

  1. dhane Says:

    Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake saying she has no confidence and walked out from the PSC Impeachment process had shown a very bad example to the public. Every person who comes to the court say not guilty to the charges. This is very common.
    What is going to happened if all criminals in Sri Lanka work out from the courts following CJ says they have no confidence of the court hearing??.
    What is going to happen if Mr. Lalith Kotalawala follow CJ and put all deposits into big trouble as his Company Logo
    ” Ceylinco is for Big or small “

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