Posted on December 20th, 2012

Chamikara WEEWRASINGHE and Jayantha De SILVA- Daily News

* Against the constitution

* Trying to rouse int’l interest

Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake yesterday filed a writ application in the Court of Appeal asking court to issue a writ of certiorari to invalidate the three charges she (CJ) was found guilty of recently by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). In addition the petition prays for an interim injunction preventing the respondents taking any future steps in this regard, until the final determination by the Court. The petition is to be considered by the Court of Appeal today.

The petition cites the Speaker the General Secretary and the eleven members of the PSC as respondents. The petition alleges that seven members of the PSC who probed the impeachment charges against the CJ had submitted a report of the PSCs findings which is against the Constitution. The petition further states that she has been subject to injustice.

Meanwhile, Vice President of Bar Association of Sri Lanka and senior lawyer Anoma Goonathilaka and some other legal experts yesterday stated there is no provision in the constitution that enables Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayaka to make any application before a Court of Appeal against a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) that has conducted an impeachment trial against her.

Anoma Goonathilaka said, there is no applicability or validity in the application filed against the PSC by Chief Justice Dr Bandaranayaka.

“The impeachment process regards the Chief Justice was based on the Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament,” she pointed out.

“I think Chief Justice Bandaranayaka has done this in an attempt to drag the process with an intention to discredit the House,” she said.

There are no provisions in the Constitution to challenge the findings of a Parliamentary Select Committee over a case of an impeachment trial involving articles of charges pertaining to misbehavior and professional misconduct of a Chief Justice, she explained. “This kind of an application is null and void before Appeal Courts,” she added.

Goonathilaka said that it appears that Chief Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayaka is trying to lead her case against the Constitution.

“We have reasons to believe that she is trying to complicate a normal constitutional process that impeached her on charges of misbehavior, with her current actions,” she said. Other lawyers echoed Mrs Goonetilleke’s sentiments. “She is trying to rouse international interest with a view to wielding an undue advantage over her impeachment trial,” she added.


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