Posted on December 26th, 2012

Athapattu Bandara-Courtesy The Daily News

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Had they stayed, we could have probed…ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Read the transcripts!

The Opposition party members who sat with the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) had a responsibility to moot their own suggestions rather than walk away from the PSC inquiry, Chair of the PSC that probed the impeachment motion against the CJ, and Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said.

He was addressing a press conference organized by the PeopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Movement for Justice at the Foundation Institute yesterday. The Chief Justice, her lawyers and the opposition political parties decided to walk out charging that they had no confidence in the composition of the PSC, and alleging the CJ was verbally abused by government members of the PSC.

But if such things happened they would be reported in the verbatim transcripts in which no such things appear, he said.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Anyone critical of the PSC proceedings should read the verbatim report presented by the committee as it would answer all criticisms leveled against it. Many who point fingers at the probe have not yet read this reportƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚, he charged.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- I invite everybody to read this verbatim and verify whether CJ was addressed badly by any member of the PSCƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚, he said, challenging anybody who is interested in knowing what really happened at the PSC sessions to read the transcripts.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”All the government members who were appointed by the Speaker to the PSC stepped up in good faith and were open minded. Nobody had a premeditated agenda or any foregone conclusion against the CJ. As there was an impeachment motion against her, that should be probed by a PSC. This was the only way of inquiring as per our constitutionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, the Minister explained.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”We wrote the report in a transparent and impartial manner. Though we belong to the government we had no any bias against anybody. As three charges out of five were proven with evidence, and so we finalized the report and handed it over to the Speaker.

Parliament is the law maker and it will inquire into any impeachment motion with the requisite signatories. The constitution has clearly laid down how Parliament could act in that situation. The Speaker is vested with the power to appoint a PSC to probe the allegations thereafter.

Though the CJ walked away from proceedings, the Opposition members who were with the PSC could have given their own dissenting report if they were not agreeing with the government members. If such a thing had happened, we could have probed that aspect too. But they also left without any rhyme or reason, he charged.

Former foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said the interpretation of the constitution can be done by anybody. But if the constitution has clearly laid down that impeachment motions should be probed by a PSC, and there was no getting round it.

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