The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) decided to interdict Baddegama Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala on complaint in connection with the controversial phone recordings of MP Ranjan Ramanayake.
The Chief Justice had received complaints regarding three judges in connection with the phone recordings controversy. They are retired High Court Judge Padmini Ranawaka, High Court judge Gihan Pilapitiya and Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala. The Judicial Services Commission called explanation last week from the two current judges whose names have transpired in connection with the controversy. It was revealed that the JSC does not have powers to act regarding retired High Court Judge Padmini Ranawaka.
After considering the explanation given by Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala and High Court Judge Gihan Pilapitiya, the JSC decided to interdict Magistrate Hemapala. However, the JSC does not have jurisdiction to inquire into the disciplinary conduct of High Court judges and it is vested with the President. Therefore the JSC made a special observation under section 111-2 B of the constitution regarding High Court judge Gihan Pilapitiya to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The observation was not known and the decision regarding the matter will have to be taken by the President.
The JSC also decided to write to Acting IG C.D. Wickremeratne directing him to hand over any phone recordings if there were more judges connected with the controversial phone recordings. Secretary of the JSC judge Sanjeewa Somaratne had yesterday evening itself handed over the relevant letters to the Presidential Secretariat.(A Special Correspondent )