Tuesday, December 4, 2012

BASL chief, others allowed to proceed FR violation application against PSC probing CJ PSC members given four weeks to file objections


By Chitra Weerarathne

 The Supreme Court yesterday granted leave to proceed with the fundamental rights violation application filed by President of the Bar Association, Wijedasa Rajapakshe, PC and several other members of the BASL, against the appointment and the proceeding of a parliamentary select committee to inquire into the allegations against the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. Leave was granted in respect of the alleged infringement of Article 12(1) of the Constitution.

The issue to be determined by the Court is whether standing order 78A is ultra vires and could be declared null and void and also whether all the proceedings and the finding of the select committee appointed under standing order 78A are null and void.

The respondent members of the parliamentary select committee were given four weeks to file objections. Hearing was fixed for Jan. 21, 2013.

Ikram Mohamed PC appeared for the members of the Bar Association who said that Article 4 (c) of the Constitution guaranteed the independence of the judiciary and that a committee appointed under Standing Order 78A could not investigate the conduct of a Judge of the apex Court.

The additional solicitor general Bimba J. Tilakaratne, PC, who appeared for the Attorney General, said that the action of the Speaker, taken in parliament, could not be reviewed by the Supreme Court, since it had no jurisdiction to do and the petition had been filed without the approval of the ExCo of the Bar Association.

The bench comprised Justices N. G. Amaratunga, Priyasad Dep and Eva Wanasundera.

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