CA judges can be summoned before House for contempt of Parliament -Rajitha
Posted on January 6th, 2013

Chamikara WEERASINGHE-Courtesy The Daily News 

The three judge Bench of the Court of Appeal which ruled that the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) has no legal power or authority to investigate the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka, can be summoned before Parliament for contempt of Parliament, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratna said yesterday.

He said the three judges of the Appeal Court, Appeals Court President S Skandarajah and Justices Anil Gooneratne and A W A Salaam can be summoned before a Parliamentary Privileges Committee on account of their judgment ignoring the Constitution and Parliamentary privileges. He said the Court of Appeal clearly ignored provision 107 (3) of the Constitution, that states:

“Parliament shall by law or by Standing Orders provide for all matters relating to the presentation of such an address, including the procedure for the passing of such resolution, the investigation and proof of the alleged misbehaviour or incapacity and the right of such Judge to appear and to be heard in person or by representative.”

Asked if the Court of Appeal judges had ignored 107 (3) of the Constitution in their ruling on the writ application filed by Dr Bandaranayaka challenging the findings of the PSC against her and if so whether it is possible that Parliament can take action against these judges, Dr Senaratna said: “Definitely and absolutely.”

“It is Parliament that enacts the Constitution and it is bound to ensure that the Constitution is adhered to. No judge can pass rulings against the Constitution,” he said.

“This is the first time in the world that a court issued directives against Parliament. That is why this ruling is historic,” the minister said.

“The Judiciary can define the Constitution, but it it has no power or any right to issue directives to Parliament,” he said.

The ruling of the three judge Bench is in violation of the constitution and Parliamentary privileges, the minister said

Asked if Parliament was going to take action against the three judge Bench in question, Dr Senaratna said: “We have not decided about this yet but this could happen because it is the usual process of action to be followed in such circumstances.”

The Judiciary should not interfere with affairs of Parliament, he said.

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