Parliament empowered to remove judges
Posted on January 5th, 2013

by Uditha Kumarasinghe Courtesy Sunday Observer

Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said a judge of the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court could be removed as the power is vested in Parliament as enshrined in Article 107 of the Constitution.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-It is very clear that Parliament should continue the impeachment process without the interference of any third party. Therefore, any Court ruling issued with regard to this case will not be binding on Parliament,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ the Deputy Speaker told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

Asked about the Supreme Court opinion which said that the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) has no power to make a finding of guilt against a judge, the Deputy Speaker said that Parliament has not been informed of such a decision.

When Speaker, Chamal Rajapaksa and 11 members of the PSC received notice from the Supreme Court, the Speaker said MPs should not respond to it by also taking into consideration the historic ruling given by the late Speaker, Anura Bandaranaike.

He said that the ruling given by him will apply to any future Court decision against the PSC or its activities.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-On that basis, Parliament has taken a decision as to how it should conduct itself on this subject.

According to Article 4 (1) C of the Constitution, Parliament has not delegated its powers to the Judiciary on matters relating to the powers of Parliament.

According to the provisions of the Constitution, Parliament should directly exercise such powers.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚

The Deputy Speaker said according to the provisions of the Constitution, the task assigned to the PSC is not to decide whether the incumbent Chief Justice is guilty or not of the charges against her.

The PSC was assigned to investigate the charges in the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice and present a report to Parliament.

After a debate in Parliament, it is the Members of Parliament who will decide whether the Chief Justice is guilty or not of the charges against her in the impeachment motion. It is most likely that the first Party LeaderƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Meeting will be held tomorrow and on January 8.

The party leaders will decide on the dates and time to be allocated to debate the impeachment motion in Parliament, he said.

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