Pressure Mounting on Lankan CJ to Quit Post

Published: 21st January 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2015 04:35 AM   |  A+A-

COLOMBO: The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera are mounting pressure on the controversial Supreme Court Chief Justice, Mohan Peiris, to resign and make way for the re-instatement of his impeached and sacked predecessor, Shirani Bandaranayake.

According to the BASL, on January 9, the day on which it was clear that the  incumbent Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was losing the Presidential election, Pieris was discussing with him ways and means of annulling the result.

“It is reiterated and emphasized that, it is absolutely essential for the Chief Justice and members of the judiciary to remain strictly separate and uninvolved in political and executive decisions,” a BASL statement said. The BASL has since been boycotting the CJ. He was not invited to the Asian Attorneys General Conference here on Monday. 

Immediately after assuming office, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera petitioned the CID to probe an attempt by  Rajapaksa and his cohorts, including CJ Mohan Peiris, to stage a military-backed coup. Subsequently, the AG had sanctioned the investigation.

While applying psychological pressure, lawyers are also trying to oust Peiris on purely legal  grounds. They  maintain that there was no vacancy when he was appointed CJ in 2013. Serving Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake had not been removed as per procedure, and therefore, there was no vacancy, argues  BASL activist J C Weliamuna.

Explaining the flaw, lawyer and TNA MP, M A Sumanthiran, said that Parliament had not passed an appropriate resolution - a proper address to the President seeking the CJ’s removal on the basis of the findings of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC).  What it passed was an old one which had set the impeachment process in motion.  

Sumanthiran told Express that he had told parliament about this but the ruling party was in such a hurry, that the flaw was ignored.

“If he does not resign, he can be impeached. But that has to be done as per proper procedure,” said leading attorney K Neelakandan.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.