Application should have been made to Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake

2 February 2012 02:56 am - 30     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The retired judges who had called upon President Mahinda Rajapaksa to appoint a special committee to probe Sarath N. Silva’s conduct as Chief Justice should have made an application to incumbent Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake instead of the executive, retired Supreme Court Judge Justice C. V. Wigneswaran said yesterday.

“The Chief Justice, as head of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), could have appointed a committee to look into the matters raised by the judges as the discontinuance from service of the judges was by the JSC and not by an individual. My objection is to a committee appointed by His Excellency the President. If you become an instrument in the hands of the executive, where then is the independence of the judiciary?” Justice Wigneswaran queried.

Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga in a letter dated January 11, had requested Justice Wigneswaran to serve as chairman of a special committee to investigate allegations levelled by a group of retired judges of unfair treatment by Sarath N. Silva during his tenure as CJ.

K. Viknaraja, a retired Judge of the Court of Appeal and D. Dissanayake, former Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs had been invited to serve as members. Both Wigneswaran and Viknaraja declined to serve in the special committee on the basis that it would compromise the independence of the judiciary.

“In our reply we pointed out that this is a matter to be revisited entirely by the JSC or by recourse to the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal for judicial review. But instead bypassing the JSC and the higher judiciary is not good for the judiciary. It is wrong for the executive to attempt to bypass the judiciary,” Justice Wigneswaran stated.

“Our sympathies are with the judges but we cannot become instruments in the hands of the executive and thereby compromise the independence of the judiciary,” he emphasised, adding that the separation of powers should not be obscured.

He further said that during his tenure on the Supreme Court Bench he heard at least one application by an affected judge and that he had expressed the opinion that the complaint by the judge in question warranted inquiry by the Supreme Court.

“Where rules of natural justice have been violated or there is an appearance of bias, the JSC as the body carrying out the administrative functions relating to the judiciary is entitled to revisit the issues involved. Judicial review of the decisions made by the JSC is also an option available to the affected judges,” he noted. (Ayesha Zuhair)


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  Comments - 30

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  • Nila Thursday, 02 February 2012 07:48 AM

    Great Judges...

    L.Piyasena Thursday, 02 February 2012 08:02 AM

    I hope that this interpretation will open eyes of the public

    Gayan Samarasekara Thursday, 02 February 2012 08:43 AM

    They set a great exemplar for future judges (and for all government servants at large) to follow.

    gajan99 Thursday, 02 February 2012 11:33 AM

    Yes, he is our president.

    mervyn perera Thursday, 02 February 2012 11:36 AM

    What was the former President Chandrika and the incumbent President doing when all the so called harrasement was caused to these retired judges. The two Presidents told former C.J Sarath Silwa you scratch my back and I scratch your back and did all the illegal things and these spineless retired judges kept silent like rates.Now that the Incumbent President and former C.J are at logger heads, suddenly these retired judges have become "Goo Chandiyas" Shameless fellows.

    Dheen Thursday, 02 February 2012 11:56 AM

    A straightforward gentleman. I really admire him. He has proved that he is not the kind of jelly fish we see these days. We need people like you Sir in this country.

    Calistus Jayatilleke Thursday, 02 February 2012 11:46 AM

    Bravo Judge Vegneswaran. It is rellly heartening to see we still have in our midst real people with backbones who do not wish to sell their souls for filthy lucre offered by the government. In any case, the educated public knows that everything is nowadays decided by one man, i.e. the so called King who has a fing/er in every pie and even if the application is made to the Chief Justice, ultimately it will be the "King" who has the final say. ndependence of Judiciary under the present set up? Forget. it, although we dont recognize it, we are under the jackboots of a one man Dictatorsbhip.

    mohanarajan Thursday, 02 February 2012 01:12 PM

    sri lankan judiciary should learn from the Indian, USA, and other some Supreme courts

    citizen1 Thursday, 02 February 2012 03:50 AM

    Well, by now everyone considers the courts to be the laughing stock of the country - especially after all the recent bogus verdicts rendered.

    sarath Thursday, 02 February 2012 03:57 AM

    Is there a so called independence of the judiciary now

    Tonto Thursday, 02 February 2012 04:15 AM

    Well said Sir. Here is a man who has to be admired for upholding the rule of law. I say the those retired judges - let sleeping dogs lie.

    wahoo Thursday, 02 February 2012 04:06 AM

    I applaud you Hon Mr. Justice. Wigneswaran for standing up for justice..

    Dinesh Thursday, 02 February 2012 04:08 AM

    Well Said ...Hope Mr Prez will undestand !

    Achari Thursday, 02 February 2012 04:32 AM

    Well said Sir.You are one of a GEM.

    Kangarro Thursday, 02 February 2012 04:36 AM

    Very good sir . I respect you

    Amdan Thursday, 02 February 2012 04:27 AM

    We salute your bravery!!!

    Nodrog Thursday, 02 February 2012 04:35 AM

    maybe they thought that since the President handles everything, even school van accidents etc, it would be better to approach him.

    mjcecil Thursday, 02 February 2012 04:43 AM

    Let MR appoint the present CJ to probe into same

    Labby Thursday, 02 February 2012 05:28 AM

    Excellent ! At least there are some who still stand up for justice, and willing to fight fearlessly against dictatorship.

    Surain Thursday, 02 February 2012 05:29 AM

    Excellent statement we admire your quality not for going behaind money & post by throwing away public respect

    Veena Thursday, 02 February 2012 05:24 AM

    Wowee! An independent and straight talking judge!

    asoka abeywardena Thursday, 02 February 2012 05:48 AM

    engalanthe eheme wunath lankawe ehema wenne ne...

    Alex Thursday, 02 February 2012 05:43 AM

    People like this with backbones should be respected.

    but unfortunately MR will come up again with a different tactic

    Chandimani Thursday, 02 February 2012 05:57 AM

    WHY? JSC is still there.

    Dammika Thursday, 02 February 2012 06:01 AM

    If they tell you Executive it is the same ... because at the moment Executive is the LAW in Sri Lanka

    ROSHAIAr Thursday, 02 February 2012 06:17 AM

    I really appreciate his bold decision, still we have decent publice servant in sri lanka even under the iron fist

    jayawic Thursday, 02 February 2012 07:05 AM

    well said

    hassa Thursday, 02 February 2012 07:14 AM

    Hat off to Justice Wigneswaran-fearless Judge-for his honesty.

    MOHAMED ASFAR Thursday, 02 February 2012 07:08 AM

    i am not sure regarding those laws to investigate the chief justice. but why he was let to do all the damages to all those judges for too long.

    Rahmathullah Thursday, 02 February 2012 07:26 AM

    I am proud to be a Sri-Lankan as we still have some judges with backbones.


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