Lawyer’s statement recorded on impeachment of Chief Justice Complaint against former CIABOC chiefs et al
Posted on March 2nd, 2017
By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island
March 2, 2017, 10:42 pm
The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) has recently recorded a statement from attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku regarding the circumstances leading to the impeachment of Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake on January 11, 2013.
Dr. Bandaranayake was reinstated on January 28, 2015 and she retired the following day following the change of government on January 8, 2015.
The CIABOC has called Kodituwakku nearly a year after he sought its intervention to have three former commissioners, the then Director General and the Attorney General investigated in terms of the Bribery Act (Section 70) for contradictory positions taken in respect of three cases filed against Justice Bandaranayake in Colombo Chief Magistrate court in respect of Bandaranayake’s cases. On the basis of the CIABOC action, the court charged Bandaranayake on two counts in three different cases under Section 9 (1) of the Declaration of Asset and Liabilities Act No 01 of 1975.
Kodituwakku has pointed out the CIABOC after having moved the Colombo Chief Magistrate court against Bandaranayake during the Rajapaksa administration had withdrawn the three relevant cases in Feb. 2016.
The then Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya exonerated her and directed that her passport be returned to her immediately.
President Kumaratunga appointed Dr. Bandaranayake to the Supreme Court in Oct 1996, President Rajapaksa elevated her Chief Justice in May 2011.
Kodituwakku has told the CIABOC that on the basis of the case filed in the Colombo Magistrate’s court, the then government had the Chief Justice impeached to pave the way for the then Chief Legal Advisor to the Cabinet Mohan Peiris, PC, appointed the Chief Justice. Kodituwakku has alleged that the CIABOC Commissioners, its Director General and the AG abused office.
The civil society activist has informed the CIABOC that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on January 30, 2015 in Parliament declared the entire impeachment process initiated by President Rajapaksa illegal.
Responding to a query by The Island, Kodituwakku said that the application made by the AG to the Chief Magistrate Court on Feb 19, 2016, seeking permission to withdraw all charges against Bandaranayake on July 12, 2013, had proved the gross abuse of above mentioned officers.
In his complaint to the CIABOC, Kodituwakku claimed that Bandaranayake had incurred the wrath of President Rajapaksa for declaring several Bills including Basil Rajapaksa’s Divineguma Bill presented to court not consistent with the Constitution.
Kodituwakku further stated that Local Government and Provincial Council Minister Faizer Musthapa had recently admitted in an interview that members of the then Cabinet had been left no option but to go along with President Rajapaksa’s decision to impeach Bandaranayake.