Independent Committee to study PSC report on CJ: University lecturers laud President’s decision
Posted on December 14th, 2012

CHAMIKARA WEERASINGHE-Courtesy The Daily News

If UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon could appoint a committee on Sri Lanka without UN approval as he did with the Darusman panel, there is no reason President Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot appoint an independent committee to advise him over the report of the impeachment motion on Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka, Colombo University senior lecturers yesterday said in an interview with the Daily News.

They said, President Rajapaksa’s recent decision to appoint an independent committee to further study the report presented by the Parliamentary Select Committee that probed articles of allegations signed by 117 MPs in Parliament to impeach Chief Justice Dr Bandaranayaka, was one of exemplary to the democratic world.

The decision will stand to preserve the dignity of the judiciary and the rule of law , they said.

“Nevertheless, it appears that some political sections have been criticizing the President’s decision on technical points, such as whether there had been any doubts in the mind of the President about the Parliamentary Select Committee that probed the charges of impeachment against Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka,” said Colombo University Sociology Department Senior Lecturer Jagath Wellawatta.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to appoint an independent committee over the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Banadaranayaka has pacified the masses against a possible unrest which certain political and NGO elements have been trying to create in the country over the past few weeks by using the situation of the impeachment trial of the Chief Justice, he added.

“It is saddening that we do not get to hear from these sections that raise such concerns do not seem to raise any concern about the charges leveled against the Chief justice of financial fraud and professional misconduct.”

“Failing to declare her assets fully alone is more than enough to remove the Chief Justice Dr Bandaranayaka from her office.”

“She has failed to provide details of her Bank accounts. She had purchased a house belonging to the Ceylinco group. She had said she paid it with a cheque whereas the Notary in Public who wrote the deed of this transaction had said that the Chief Justice made her payment with cash in this connection,” said Wellawatta. “Can those lawyers and politicians come forward and say that they do not admit the existence of such instances?” he asked. “One must not forget that Chief Justice Dr Bandaranayaka walked out of her impeachment hearing without disproving any of these charges,” she added.

“It was sad to see that those who have opposed the impeachment hearing, only show up to criticize members of the PSC and they do not say anything about the seriousness of the charges involved in the case,” he pointed out.

The Opposition , for example have been saying that the Chief Justice was given very little time to disprove 14 charges that have been leveled against her.

They have been saying that the CJ was given as little as twelve or thirteen hours to defend herself against 14 charges.

Even if the trial had taken for six moths they would have said that the trial was unfair, he pointed out.

One Response to “Independent Committee to study PSC report on CJ: University lecturers laud President’s decision”

  1. aravinda Says:

    CJ is given the Right of reply. The right of reply is the right to defend oneself against criticism in the same platform. CJ should use this right and defend herself. She should not walk out of her impeachment hearing. If there was a time restraint, she should start the defense now, and continue on a later day. Why should she refuse to defend herself? God only knows! Who is giving her legal advice? Why can’t she understand she is innocent until proven guilty.

    In presumption of innocence, the burden of proof lies with who declares, not who denies. Application of this principle is a legal right of the accused in Sri Lanka.

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