Impeachment hearings: CA should have sought AG’s advise before seeking interpretation from SC
Posted on December 13th, 2012

Jayantha de Silva Courtesy The Daily News

Attorney General Palitha Fernando yesterday contended before a three Judge Bench of the Supreme Court that the Court of Appeal in respect of hearing the applications in connection with the impeachment of Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake should have sought the AG’s advise before reference to the Supreme Court. There is no proper reference by the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court. “Otherwise there would be a floodgate of references from other courts to the Supreme Court”.

The Supreme Court hearing the 12 petitions including five intervening petitions field in connection with the impeachment of the Chief Justice by the Parliamentary Select Committee yesterday pronounced that there there is no objection from the petitioners for the Bench continuing to hear their applications.

The Bench comprised Justice Nimal Gamini Ameratunge, Justice K Sri Pavan and Justice Priyasath Dep.

Attorney General Palitha Fernando who submitted oral submissions will continue to make his submissions today. At the outset, the Attorney General said: “This is an emotional issue.” In accordance of the provisions of Article 125 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court had no original jurisdiction to hear the applications; which is a reference from the Court of Appeal and urged that the writ applications to be referred back to the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court is not bound to interpret. The Court of Appeal could have closely looked into the issue. “This case does not merit constitutional interpretation by the Supreme Court,, the Attorney General said.

The Supreme Court is to take notice if the matter involves interpreting the Constitution submitted the Attorney General. Justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunge observed that the procedure would entail referring the applications back to court if there is no request for constitutional interpretation.

Attorney at law K Kanageawaran PC appearing for the petitioners submitted that this was critical juncture. Executive, Legislative and the Judiciary should act according to the Constitution without leaping out side the boundary. DSG Shamindra Fernando, ASG A. Ganadasa, SSC Nerin Pulle and Dr Avanthi Perera SC appeared for the Attorney General. Attorney at Law Chandana Liyanapatbendi, Sagara Kariyawasnam, D P Mendis PS, Rasik Zaruk PC, and Prof M Zafrulla appeared for the petitioners.

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