Dr Shirani Bandaranayake, who was removed from the post of Chief Justice of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court and replaced by Mohan Peiris, declared on Tuesday that she continued to be the Chief Justice because her removal had been both unfair and unconstitutional. Her position had been “usurped”, she said in a statement.
“I still am the duly appointed legitimate Chief Justice. It is not only the office of CJ but also the very independence of the judiciary, that has been usurped. The very tenor of rule of law, natural justice and judicial abeyance has not only been ousted but brutally mutilated,” she said angrily.
“As the CJ, I have an obligation and an unwavering duty towards the judges, lawyers and the citizens at large of my country. I have suffered because I stood for an independent judiciary and withstood the pressures. It is the people who are supreme and the Constitution of the Republic recognises the rule of law and if that rule of law had prevailed, I would not have been punished unjustly,” she contended.
“The accusations levelled against me are blatant lies. I am totally innocent of all charges and had there been a semblance of truth in any allegation, I would not have remained even for a moment in the august office of the CJ. I can stand before you today as the CJ, a citizen and a human being, purely because of that very innocence,” she declared.