CJ TRANSFERRED MAGISTRATE RE’HUSBAND’S CASE-‘He was to hear the case involving Pradeep Kariyawasam’ – Mervyn Silva:
Posted on January 4th, 2013

Chaminda Perera-Courtesy The Daily News 

Minister Silva hit out at the Chief Justice for transferring the magistrate who was to hear the bribery and corruption case against her husband. He said she cannot hold the post of the Judicial Services Commission chairman when charges were framed against her husband under the Bribery or Corruption Act.

Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake’s husband Pradeep Kariyawasam was in the habit of withdrawing money worth Rs 25 million from the National Savings Bank of which he was the chairman.

He used to invest these state funds in the share market and the profit derived from the investment was credited to his personal bank accounts for sometime, Public Relations and Public Affairs Minister Mervyn Silva said yesterday. Minister Silva hit out at the Chief Justice for transferring the magistrate who was to hear the bribery and corruption case against her husband. He said she cannot hold the post of the Judicial Services Commission chairman when charges were framed against her husband under the Bribery or Corruption Act.

“Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake tried to cover up her misdeeds, initially by appearing before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) for three days, and she walked out of the PSC abruptly as she was convinced that charges against her are on the verge of being proved by the committee,” he said.

Addressing a press conference at his office yesterday, Minister Silva said the lawyers who appeared on behalf of her in the PSC should have advised her that she should not appear before the PSC at the very outset.

When she realised that serious charges against her are on the verge of being proven by the committee with a number of persons including her colleagues giving evidence over her misconduct, her lawyers advised her not to appear before it, the minister said. Minister Silva asked as to why they did not face the PSC investigation.

“She failed to file objection over the first, second and third charges of the impeachment motion.”

Minister Silva said there was no clash between the Judiciary, Legislature or the Executive and the appointment of the PSC was purely under the 1978 Constitution. He was of the view that the lawyers and the justices know what the truth is. Minister Silva said they were ready to take a decision over her post by January 8. The minister said she should step down from her post with dignity or she should be removed soon.

“No body should be allowed to play truant in the country which was freed from the clutches of terrorists.”

He said the country which was saved by the Security Forces with the blessings of Maha Sangha cannot be allowed to be reigned by extortionists or corrupt individuals. “None can be allowed to deprive the democratic rights of the people,” the minister said.

“She has been empowered to inspect the dossier with regard to the case which was being heard against her husband in the Magistrate Court while holding the post of Judicial Services Commission chairman.”

The minister queried as to how justice can be expected from her under such a situation.

He said none of the Justices in the Bench has written the judgment.

“The Chief Justice must have given advice to write this judgment,” he said. Minister Silva said she played a political drama in the Supreme Court premises with the support of lawyers who stood against country when the Security Forces were fighting one of the most ruthless terrorist outfits in the world.

He said the LTTE diaspora is providing funds to these lawyers for raising their voice for the embattled Chief Justice.

The minister said the Chief Justice has a separate gate to come and leave the Supreme Court premises and she has to use her official vehicle.

Minister Silva said she left for Parliament to give evidence before the PSC with much fanfare. “It was a political drama. It was like a candidate leaving his residence to hand over nominations for election with rousing support of his party members,” he said.

The minister said she left the Supreme Court complex from the back door and used the vehicle offered by Neelakandan and Neelakanthan Law Firm .

Minister Silva said the Chief Justice is not in a position to forget the lawyers and her colleagues who dashed coconuts for her and shouted slogans on behalf of her.

“It was the first day in the history of the Judiciary that the post of the Chief Justice was auctioned,” he said.

Sabaragamuwa University Chancellor Prof Kuburugamuwe Vajira Thera and Dhammaransi Foundation chairman Ven Galagama Dhammaransi Thera also spoke. Vidyalankara Pririvena lecturer Ven Neluwakande Gnananda Thera was also present.

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