Prez shouldn’t exercise executive powers arbitrarily: BASL

29 May 2019 02:35 am - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) said yesterday President Maithripala Sirisena should not have exercised his executive powers arbitrarily when pardoning Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, who was jailed after being found guilty of contempt of court charges.

It said it was an act based on irrelevant consideration.

In a statement, the BASL said it was deeply concerned by the recent act of granting a presidential pardon to a monk who was serving a sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal for Contempt of Court committed in the presence of the Homagama Magistrate.

“It is relevant to note that the Court of Appeal exercises jurisdiction in respect of Contempt of Court in terms of Article 105 (1) of the Constitution. Laws of contempt exist to protect the Judiciary from unwarranted interference with its authority and to protect the Judiciary from attacks against its independence and authority,” the BASL said.

The statement signed by BASL President Kalinga Indatissa PC said though the executive powers vested in the President through the Constitution is unquestionable, the exercise of this power should be based on sound legal principles and reasoning.

“Any departure from these considerations would shake the very foundations of the Rule of Law and shock the conscience of those who value an independent Judiciary. The BASL is gravely concerned of this power being exercised in such a manner. We hold the view that the power of pardon granted under the Constitution should not be exercised in an arbitrary and a capricious manner, without consulting the vital stakeholders, namely the Court, which imposed the sentence and the honorable Attorney General,” the BASL said. “Being mindful of the fact that there are no guidelines for the exercise of such power, the BASL is of the strong view that the consultative process referred to above would ensure that such a power should be reasonably exercised without leaving any room for loss of public confidence and for undermining the independence of the Judiciary.”

The BASL said this matter was highlighted at the Bar Council meeting held on Saturday, May 25.(Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana and Ranjith Padmasiri)

  Comments - 10

  • C.K.Lankaputhra Tuesday, 28 May 2019 07:57 PM

    This amounts to playing violene to a deaf elephant.

    Borat Tuesday, 28 May 2019 08:22 PM

    Freedom of wild ass . Unfortunately wild ass is president

    Saranga Tuesday, 28 May 2019 08:47 PM

    After all he is president responsible of killing 250 people What more you want

    Amila Amunugama Tuesday, 28 May 2019 08:56 PM

    Goodwill gesture for predicting about Saharan !

    Patriot Tuesday, 28 May 2019 08:56 PM

    President's pardon is supreme.

    Dee Tuesday, 28 May 2019 09:42 PM

    Supreme it is! There are more high profile ones. Please don't wait for next wesak! Economy depends on their release.

    Kumar, Lawyer Wednesday, 29 May 2019 12:38 AM

    Contempt of court is serious but it is not superlatively heinous than murder,serious bodily harm or armed robbery. As such a nine year custodial sentence is too harsh to say the least.And this person has already served some of the sentence and had been a model prisoner. So the President is entirely within his rights to use his prerogative to pardon the said prisoner. BASL is wrong on this occasion.

    W. Katugampola Wednesday, 29 May 2019 12:46 AM

    What else do you expect from a gamarala. Next time around elect a educated person as your president to avoid this type of hiccup. Wasantha

    Cobra Wednesday, 29 May 2019 07:19 AM

    He could n't help it if he got orders from the top to pardon this thug!!!

    John snow Wednesday, 29 May 2019 07:52 AM

    BASL, please cleanse your department first before pointing finger to others. BASL in SL is a shit hole that going after politicians. If you guys get money you do whatever good or bad. See the recent decision against Badurdeen, One of your judge surprisingly stepped out. Its a planned plot. government new the verdict and it against the forest and human killer. So they new eventually it'll impact the No confidence motion. Please keep this in mind, you all are just a servants for the country. at least do your job respectably...

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