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Will act according to Constitution: SC

1 December 2012 04:09 am - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Deciding to continue with cases referred to it against the impeachment of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, the Supreme Court yesterday observed that it was not concerned about outside statements but insisted it would act according to the country’s Constitution.

“We are not concerned about outside statements and but we are conscious of the matter being adjudicated and conscious of our powers and conscious of the constitutional merit and would act accordingly,” Justice N.G. Amaratunga, who heads the Supreme Court Bench comprising himself, K. Sripavan and Priyasath Dep said:

Fixing the case for hearing, the court directed the Supreme Court Registrar to notify the date to the respondents – the Speaker and 11 members of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) which is probing the charges against the Chief Justice. The court said it had no information whatsoever as to whether the respondents’ would file written submissions or not.

The SC yesterday also observed that the respondents were absent and unrepresented. It noted that the Appeal Court Registrar by his report dated Nov. 28, 2012 had informed the Supreme Court Registrar that notices had been sent to the respondents by registered post. The Appeal Court Registrar had furnished to the Supreme Court the registered postal article receipt authenticated by the post office date stamp 26.11.2012.

Court said the respondents are entitled to have one week’s time to file written submissions.

The Court fixed the hearing for December 13 and 14 before the same Bench.

The reference made to the Supreme Court by the Appeal Court for a constitutional interpretation on the question on Article 107(3) of the Constitution relating to the procedure of impeachment against a Judge was taken up by the Bench.

At this stage referring to the statement made by the Speaker in Parliament on November 29, petitioner’s counsel Kanag Iswaran PC brought to the notice of the Court that the respondents would not participate and they would not file written submissions.

He submitted that as the matter stands now two things are clear. He said that the Chairman of the Committee rejected the notices and they are not going to file submissions. In view of the urgency, he moves for argument on December 4.

Justice Amaratunga: Court of Appeal has now submitted that it has sent the notices on 26.11.2012. Whatever the statement made outside, as judges of the Supreme Court we have to act according to the Constitution.

AG Palitha Fernando: Notices have not been sent to him through the Registrar but it has been handed over by Instructing Attorney-at-Law. It has not been complied with the Supreme Court Rule.

He said in the notice the question of the matter has not been set out.

“On what am I to submit my written submission on,” he asked.

He pointed out that the notices should have been served through the Registrar of the Court of Appeal and the Attorney-at-Law has no law to issue notice:
K.Kanag Iswaran PC with Buddhika Ilankathilake instructed by Lilanthi de Silva appeared for the Petitioner Chandra Jayaratne. Shibly Aziz PC, Geofrey Alagaratnam PC, S.L. Gunasekara, Ikram Mohamed PC, Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC with Senany Dayaratne, Chrismal Warnakulasuriya appeared for Dr. Jayampathi Wickramaratne PC, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, Nimal Weerakody, Chandrapala Kumarage and W. Visaka Perera Tilakaratne.

Attorney General Palitha Fernando, Additional Solicitor General A. Gnanathasan, Deputy Solicitors General D. Nawas, Sanjay Rajaratnam and Janak de Silva and Senior State Counsel Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General.  (S. S. Selvanayagam)
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  Comments - 18

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  • frank hilary Saturday, 01 December 2012 05:31 AM

    I think, in this issue Parliament alone should NOT be the authority to decide, the Judiciary should be allowed to play its due role without any hindrance, to prove the guilt.

    senthilan, C Saturday, 01 December 2012 05:06 PM

    Well said. They would sacrifice anything in their possession for the sake of acquiring power.

    FrancisFrancis Saturday, 01 December 2012 07:30 AM

    This is an excellent turn of event that will undoubtedly expose the pariah regime internationally. MR must be careful of the repercussions including the total collapse of rapidly increasing tourist arrivals and inflow of investment. Myanmar is waiting

    perumal Saturday, 01 December 2012 07:38 AM

    Our country's constitution is for pseudo-separation of powers. In essence, it is for concentration of powers in the executive.

    dachee Saturday, 01 December 2012 07:57 AM

    Let's let them enter the race..

    C. Seneveratne Saturday, 01 December 2012 08:06 AM

    Why not go for a referendum! This is the best way to uphold democracy

    dachee Saturday, 01 December 2012 08:21 AM

    Sole power to go for a referendum lies with president..

    Ronny Saturday, 01 December 2012 08:46 AM

    Bravo, and that is JUSTICE.

    cuthbert Saturday, 01 December 2012 09:43 AM

    they started let JUSTICE bring it to an end

    Calistus Jayatilleke Saturday, 01 December 2012 10:03 AM

    Both the Parliament and the Judiciary go on assuring the people that they will act according to the Constitution. But now, the Speaker has announced that the Parlaiment, being supreme, will not be guided by "outside" forces. Apparently, the Parliament has hijacked all powers of the people including that of the judiciary. It is now upto the Judiciary to ensure rule of law in this country before it goes into anarchy. I very much hope that the government will learn its lesson this time.

    jacoob Sunday, 02 December 2012 12:06 AM

    this has become a country where rights to remenber the dead ones are refused .. SC you are nothing ..

    Jagath Leanagej Sunday, 02 December 2012 02:47 AM

    We know one opposition party will support this impeachment motion. That is U.N.P. because Ranil will do, what M.R.says to do.So T.N.A. and J.V.P.members will submit written submissions?

    Don Saturday, 01 December 2012 10:25 AM

    Absolutely right. The politicians want the jungle constitution- where thay say if some one ties a man to a tree- he should be rewarded with a ministership on Public Relations, if some one rapes or kills- he should be given to powers in Defence ministry, if some one has millions of crimes such as KP- he is not guilty of any thing, if some one saves Lanka - he will be found guilty many times like SF, billions of corruption is put under the carpet.. That is the jungle constitution they want !!

    Jagath P.U. Leanage Sunday, 02 December 2012 03:59 AM

    This is a clasic example of Parlimenatarians taking "Law & Order" in to their hands.That means are they above the law?

    manel fonseka Saturday, 01 December 2012 11:16 AM

    note for C. Seneveratne: if you look into the only referendum we ever had you will realise it did the opposite of upholding democracy!

    mamath Saturday, 01 December 2012 04:24 AM

    The basic premise of our Constitution is a separation of powers and a system of checks and balances because politicians were perceived as fallen creatures and would always yearn for more power.

    Lalindra Saturday, 01 December 2012 04:42 AM

    A democracy in peril. At least one institution should act steadfast.

    dachee Saturday, 01 December 2012 04:54 AM

    Nothing to get upset. These institutions need to exercise checks and balances on each institution. no institution can go ahead isolate. if any of institution does so,it amounts to ultra vires. This confrontation is a must to have a smooth exercising of peoples' power.


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