Thursday, December 6, 2012
PSC: Irate CJ stages stunning walk out Insulted, she will not come back – Counsel PSC to go ahead according to precedents
The Island, December 6, 2012, 12:00 pm
By Saman Indrajith
Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayaka and her team of lawyers walked out of the Parliamentary Select Committee probe around 5.50 last evening saying that they would not return, according to parliamentary sources.
Romesh De Silva, senior member of the team of lawyers, representing the Chief Justice, said that they had not been provided with the necessary documents and there was no list of witnesses too. Without the list of witnesses, there was no possibility of summoning them before the committee.
The PSC had not been able to provide the Chief Justice and her lawyers with the documents pertaining to the charges mentioned in the impeachment motion against her, he said.
Besides the Chief Justice had been continuously subjected to verbal abuse by some of the government members during the sessions, he claimed.
The PSC had failed to verify the authenticity of the documents provided by the Secretary General of Parliament on Wednesday and the calls to summon the relevant authorities, which had provided those bank account details and asset declarations, by the lawyers of the Chief Justice had been overlooked, the Counsel said.
Counsel de Silva also pointed out that the PSC had failed to spell out its procedure. He said they had no faith in the committee and that she would not get a fair trial.
The Chief Justice was represented by her lawyers Romesh de Silva PC, Kandiah Neelakandan, Nalin Laduwahetty PC, Sugath Caldera, Riyaz Ameen, Iraj de Silva and Saliya Peiris.
The walk out took place after more than three hours of the Committee meeting which began at 2.30 p.m.
Chairman of the PSC, Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa adjourned the sittings of the committee till 1.30 p.m. today.
Yesterday was the third time the Chief Justice appeared before the committee.
Opposition members have decided that they will participate the PSC at 1.30 p.m. and demand the Chief Justice be given more time and that she be persuaded to come and participate in the proceedings, Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga, who is also member of the committee, said.
Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody addressing media soon after the Chief Justice and her team of lawyers had left the Parliamentary complex said that the PSC has asked the Chief Justice to be present before it at 1.30 pm today. He said he believed that the PSC would act accordingly the internationally accepted norms in case she or her lawyers would not comply with its request.
Deputy Speaker said that all necessary facilities for the process of the PSC had been provided by Parliament on Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa’s orders and 22 days had been given to the Chief Justice to file her objections to the charges mentioned in the impeachment motion.