Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Judges claim impeachment against natural justice

Daily Mirror, 04/12/2012

Issuing a joint statement, the judicial officers including High Court Judges, District judges, Magistrates and Presidents of Labour Tribunals who gathered at the Hulftsdorp in Colombo yesterday complained that the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was a blatant violation of natural justice.
The judges who met at the Supreme Court complex yesterday afternoon said they were concerned about the ongoing impeachment procedure and resolved that all defamatory media statements against the Chief Justice and the judiciary should be stopped.
“Such statements affect not only the Chief Justice personally but the entire judiciary,” the joint statement said.
We request those concerned to consider the grave damage that would be caused to the rule of law in the country due to such statements. The judges also proposed that the impeachment against the Chief Justice should be transparent and conducted impartially.
They further said that the parties who brought the impeachment allegations against the CJ, were themselves conducting the inquiry and thus it was a blatant violation of natural justice. We reiterate  that nowhere in the world would those who make allegations hear their own case.
The judges also stated that they had a question on the example displayed to the world with regard to the removal of the Chief Justice of this country.
Meanwhile the lawyers who appear on behalf of the CJ before the impeachment told the Daily Mirror that she would appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) today. The Chief Justice’s instructing attorney K. Neelakandan told that CJ Bandaranayake would appear before the PSC despite seeking more time.
 In the meantime Sadaranaya Sandahawu Jathika Vyaparaya (National Movement for Just Society) led by Ven. Madhuluwawe Sobitha Thera together with representatives of more than 40 trade unions and civil rights group are to conduct a Sathyagraha campaign in front of the Supreme Court today December 4 morning.
“We invite all individuals despite their political, religious or ethnic differences to come to the Hulftsdorp to join the peaceful protest in support of the Chief Justice and seek justice for her,” Ven. Sobitha Thera said. (Susitha R. Fernando)

Pix by Kushan Pathiraja

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