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Speaker rejects court notices

29 November 2012 01:31 pm - 76     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa making a landmark ruling a short while ago regarding the on-going court proceedings challenging the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) regarding the impeachment motion ruled that no external institution can notice, order or direct Parliament.

“The purported notices issued to me and members of the select committee are unreservedly rejected and they have no effect whatsoever and are not recognised in any manner,” the Speaker said.

Delivering his ruling, the Speaker said the notices issued by the Court of Appeal on the directions of the Supreme Court had no effect and were not recognized in any manner.

“I wish to make it clear that this ruling of mine as Speaker of Parliament will apply to any similar purported notice, order or determination in respect of the proceedings of the committee which will continue  solely and exclusively under the authority of Parliament,”  the Speaker said in his ruling.

Referring to the appointment of the select committee, he said that he acted as the Speaker in pursuance of the powers vested in him by Article 107 of the Constitution.

 “The members of the committee appointed by me are responsible solely and exclusively to me as the Speaker. No person or institution outside Parliament has any authority whatsoever to issue any directive either to me as Speaker or to the members of the select committee. This is a matter which falls exclusively within the purview of Parliament’s authority,” he said.

The Speaker’s ruling followed a question of privilege raised by House Leader and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva earlier in the day against notices issued by court.

Raising the privilege issue, the minister said seven writ applications had been filed by various parties in the Court of Appeal against the select committee citing its 11 members and the Speaker as respondents.   The interpretation regarding article 107(3) of the constitution arising from the writ applications have been referred to the Supreme Court.

The Leader of the House who is also a member of the select committee said the members and the Speaker had been noticed by court. He said the petitioners had sought court orders through writ applications to suspend the activities of the select committee, and to declare the Speaker’s order to appoint the committee null and void.

Mr. de Silva stressed that Parliament had adopted a procedure to remove the Chief Justice from her office in terms of the Constitution and Standing Orders, and the Speaker’s action in this regard could not be challenged outside the parliamentary process. Also, he noted that the select committee that probing allegations against the Chief Justice should follow directions made by Parliament or for that matter by the Speaker only.

Noting that the Speaker is the custodian of the rights of Parliament, he said that Members of Parliament had the responsibility to prevent external forces making inroads into the Legislature.  The Leader of the House referred to a ruling given by late Speaker Anura Bandaranaike on June 20, 2001 which upheld legislative supremacy. In that ruling, Mr. Bandaranaike said that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to give restraining orders against Parliament.
Shortly after his statement, the members across the floor made their submissions.  Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga who rose to his  feet said that the select committee had no judicial power. He said that though the parliamentary supremacy could not be compromised at any cost, the select committee was only an investigative body.

 “The select committee can only report its findings to Parliament. Then, the House can decide on it.  This is a very serious situation.   We ask the Speaker to give an independent ruling.   You will make history by giving a ruling on this matter,” Mr. Amaratunga told the Speaker.

His views were widely underscored by UNP MPs Sujeewa Senasinghe, Ravi Karunanayake, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Joseph Michael Perera, Sajith Premadasa and D.M.Swaminathan.  However, UNP MP R. Yogarajan said the Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislature are not subservient to each other. He said that courts could not be disregarded on this issue, and the MPs who had been noticed should make their submissions to court.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.A. Sumanthiran said late Prime Minister Sirimawo Bandaranaike and present Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardane went to Court in 1987 against the 13th Amendment, and sought legal intervention against parliamentary proceedings.  He also said that the interpretation of the Constitution is the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the judiciary, and therefore, the Supreme Court issuing notices does not warrant a privilege issue in Parliament.

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  Comments - 76

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  • Matalan Friday, 30 November 2012 06:09 AM

    When the govt. holds a 2/3 majority under a constitution favouring the government of the day in mind-boggling extremity; there is no end to the limits it can exceed for the good or worse for the Nation and its future. In the present scenario though, catastrophe's written all over it. .

    patana Friday, 30 November 2012 07:47 AM

    Yeah. Nobody can tell the chamber full of saints like Mervyn and Karuna Amman what to do.

    ravi Friday, 30 November 2012 07:33 AM

    which law?

    Imran Hussein Friday, 30 November 2012 06:50 AM

    This is not what i have said. DM please be fair. either post the entire comment or dont post nothing.

    mohandev Friday, 30 November 2012 06:47 AM

    Why dont you look up & spit for voting for UNP

    Concerned Friday, 30 November 2012 06:47 AM

    Is it just me or any one else experiencing difficulties in accessing Daily Mirror site? Smell some foul play here.

    mohandev Friday, 30 November 2012 06:44 AM

    Gon talk

    mohandev Friday, 30 November 2012 06:43 AM

    Another instance to prove UNP's treachery & mockery by going against the will of the people by their draconic Constitution introduced by master craftsman JRJ now going against their own wishes. Still UNP wants the same constitution & dreams of reaping the fruits of presidential super powers if ever their leader can win against mighty kings

    galapitamada Friday, 30 November 2012 06:34 AM

    Actually the people should rise up against the judiciary for keeping silent for all the malpractices done by the legislators.
    Unfortunately for the masses this is what happens when public loopholes are mutually used for personal purposes rather than fixing the loophole.
    Again refer to the true islamic legislatures who worked and were responsible for the judiciary who in turn were true reps of the people.
    Every body is responsible for god almighty.

    Game Kolla Friday, 30 November 2012 06:08 AM

    We all know the caliber of politicians in parliament...yes yes they are supreme..honest... sincere...educated....professional...etc..etc//

    lapas Friday, 30 November 2012 07:48 AM

    This will result in a uprising by the people

    Chryshan K Friday, 30 November 2012 05:49 AM

    Ranil appointed advisor to Govt. New car, new house, new boy friend. Wonder of Asia

    sbd Friday, 30 November 2012 05:40 AM

    If advise & determinations of Courts are not respected, surely general public woud lose confidence in Judiciary in double quick time in its ability to deliver justice.Is not it Rajapakese regime forcing the country down the precipis of no return!

    rav Friday, 30 November 2012 05:32 AM

    Based on our country law (politician???), court can notice poor people and non -political background person.

    ASHRAFF NAZIM Friday, 30 November 2012 04:54 AM


    Milinda Friday, 30 November 2012 04:42 AM

    This is great

    Adam Friday, 30 November 2012 04:38 AM

    This is a mess. But as long as the parliament represents honorable members who are educated and work towards the interest of the country under a common agenda, the decision taken by the speaker is justifiable. But a parliament representing the members with these qualities will be a dream forever.

    Spodisingho Friday, 30 November 2012 04:24 AM

    The biggest obstacle for the nation of Sri Lanka and its people is the parliament and the Lamp Posts within it.

    Ling Friday, 30 November 2012 04:12 AM

    @ Sriranjan, you simply do not understand what is Parliament and what is public. You have a long way to learn.

    hkshewa Friday, 30 November 2012 09:49 AM


    Adam Friday, 30 November 2012 12:00 PM

    I accept it to a certain extent. But the constitution of Sri Lanka is more or less similar to British constitution which is more focus on the justice to all. But the regime with the support from opposition leader misuses the constitution for the sake of the family. Please look at who were appointed for the committee. They are the very same personal who filed the case in the parliament. They are not competent enough for the hearing against the well educated judge.

    sbd Friday, 30 November 2012 11:44 AM

    Is Speaker empowered to hear his own case? Is he mandated to interpret Constitution?. Clearly No. Then how can he invalidate court notices making his own law!

    umesch Friday, 30 November 2012 10:51 AM

    People should decide, go for a referendum before
    impeaching CJ, what about corrupt politicians claiming 30% for
    useful projectss from donors....

    Ranjith Friday, 30 November 2012 10:51 AM

    We thought the SL President is only above the law in the whole world but now , the Brother to the President and pupet opposition leader also abow the law. who else?

    Niyas Friday, 30 November 2012 10:37 AM

    JR and Sarath N. Silva destroyed your dream Parliment

    Matalan Friday, 30 November 2012 10:30 AM

    You have to thank the stupendous stupidity of your voters for handing razor blades to monkeys.

    kumara Friday, 30 November 2012 10:07 AM

    Parliment is supreme. PSC is as legal as the Court Marshal which convicted Sarath Fonseka

    Eco Friday, 30 November 2012 04:11 AM

    Judges are somehow able to ‘overrule’ legislation, for example if, exercising the power given to them by the Human Rights Act 1998

    roy Friday, 30 November 2012 09:46 AM

    Parliament by ruler but court for every one, justice always win every where.where human living.

    hkshewa Friday, 30 November 2012 09:20 AM

    man proposes.....god disposes.....!

    mohandev Friday, 30 November 2012 09:09 AM

    Democracy was wiped out by UNP in '77 with their constitution that is creating all this mess, dont you get it colombian dummies????

    Roshan Friday, 30 November 2012 08:44 AM

    Yes, Parliament is superior if there is democracy . But our parliament will pass anything as far as MR does't oppose.

    Lobo Friday, 30 November 2012 08:09 AM

    Al rasa, are you high on something?

    Al Rasa Friday, 30 November 2012 08:05 AM

    Every one now want is to make an uprising over this issue whereas interpretation is quite clear that parliament is superior.Those who want to deny this are the people just because their UNP and JVP to chase out this govt. This will not happen. All mad fellows who have sent the above comments please remember that we we'll not keep any room for UNP or JVP to come to power. We'll keep MR as our ever president for the next 20 years after that we'll also elect a person from UPFA

    Mangala Samaraweera Thursday, 29 November 2012 03:02 PM

    Well done. Well done. Well done.

    Mahen Samuel Thursday, 29 November 2012 07:13 PM

    As long as they find cheap entertainent to the peasanst of the country, with night car racing with Lambrogini's and lots of cricket, no one seem to care! Rise up Sri Lanka, rise up, before it is too late!!!

    Truth Seaker Thursday, 29 November 2012 07:12 PM

    Well said Voyager!
    I am hundred percent agree with you.

    chin Thursday, 29 November 2012 06:47 PM

    You are correct.
    The law is clear. No one can give orders to the Parliament .

    S.Sriranjan Thursday, 29 November 2012 06:35 PM

    Parliament shouldn't set a way for the Contempt of Law to make precedent to Public???

    shanthi Thursday, 29 November 2012 04:34 PM

    --My Car
    My Patrol
    My LOAD ---!

    When Speaker was selecting, this situation was hinted!

    Lobo Thursday, 29 November 2012 04:06 PM

    Let the battles begin!

    FRANCIS Thursday, 29 November 2012 03:59 PM

    No one is above the law in any country and above the law of God which is the TRUTH, since someday, somewhere, somehow it wins over all evil

    Imran Hussein Thursday, 29 November 2012 03:35 PM

    Thank you Chamal Rajapakse.

    ravi Thursday, 29 November 2012 03:11 PM

    so TNA and international is correct because parliament comity is not use full it's rejected from country low .

    jan Thursday, 29 November 2012 07:29 PM

    Its the president who has all these powers under JR s constitution.

    Sonna Boy Thursday, 29 November 2012 02:49 PM

    High handed as usual

    Sue Thursday, 29 November 2012 02:37 PM

    That's right Mr. Speaker. You can say what you have been told to say, but what does your conscience say?

    Voyager Thursday, 29 November 2012 02:35 PM

    We are a republic where the people are sovereign. We're also a democracy where the people elect representatives to execute their sovereignty. So, it's the parliament that has the power to oversee all finance, general administration, justice, law and order. Therefore the parliament has the final say on almost all things except those that require to be approved by a referendum. So, it is not unnatural for things like this to happen.

    Shakira Thursday, 29 November 2012 02:23 PM

    That's it. Like it or not, like leader of opposition said, follow the constitution. That's the law

    Shan Thursday, 29 November 2012 02:20 PM

    No one is above law.

    arf Thursday, 29 November 2012 02:10 PM

    This is the beginning of the end...they are messing with the very fabric of our system...there are laws and there are principles..the rule of law is a fundamental matter what a piece of paper says no institution is above the law in our country

    Ranil Thursday, 29 November 2012 02:02 PM

    Not that it matters to the general public, not a cat is bothered about what they say and do in parliament as almost every decission is unfavorable to the people of this country

    sathis Thursday, 29 November 2012 01:56 PM

    Court not listens to parliament and parliament not listens to court. Result will be dangerous

    sach Friday, 30 November 2012 03:24 AM

    u really dont have any idea about how judiciary, executive and parliament

    MA Friday, 30 November 2012 03:55 AM

    I hope and pray MR and Chief justice meet face to face and solve their problems than drag the country into a mess.

    Ling Friday, 30 November 2012 03:40 AM

    Another useless comment, what do one gain by writing all these useless comments, ponder ponder.......

    Kiwi Friday, 30 November 2012 03:38 AM

    Ever heard of Seperation of Powers and what it means???? Do you understand the working system of "checks and balances" amongst the working of the three limbs of Government?????????

    Ling Friday, 30 November 2012 03:38 AM

    ???, useless comment without deep understanding.

    Kiwi Friday, 30 November 2012 03:36 AM

    Law is clear?? Which "Law" says no one can give orders to Parliament?

    Poor Guy Friday, 30 November 2012 03:35 AM

    parlimentarians, we are gods, not infallible

    Kiwi Friday, 30 November 2012 03:34 AM

    Just close up the courts and give that power also to the Ministry of Defence.

    Chamith Friday, 30 November 2012 03:30 AM

    Laws are made by Parliment. Parliment has suprem power over court.

    Wara Friday, 30 November 2012 03:28 AM

    Not conscience, what the book says !

    Ganepola Thursday, 29 November 2012 01:56 PM

    Well Done!

    Wara Friday, 30 November 2012 03:27 AM

    Exactly. Constitution make laws. So Court can't rule the parliament decisions. It's like son giving orders to the father !

    Wara Friday, 30 November 2012 03:24 AM

    Parliament is the place where rules coming from. So, how come others rule parliament. They are independent powers. Can't challenge each other.

    Lobo Friday, 30 November 2012 03:02 AM

    The only time they are unanimous is when perks are on offer for themselves.

    Gane Friday, 30 November 2012 02:51 AM

    If some one says, present bunch of idiots in the parliament are the supreme in the country then ...... OMG pl save my country.

    Jamieson Friday, 30 November 2012 02:42 AM

    So, the 'Executive' and 'Legislature' can make inroads into Judiciary but the latter cannot make inroads into the former; is that right Mr.Speaker?????????

    Nodrog Friday, 30 November 2012 01:11 AM

    The law applies only for those with no political connections or influence.

    C. Seneveratne Friday, 30 November 2012 12:41 AM

    It is a shame that learned people have forgotten what democracy is.
    They are trying to hide their dirty linen

    Abdul Thursday, 29 November 2012 07:31 PM

    its like a cat is trying to fight with the lion! lion is more bigger than the cat.

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