Dr. Saravanamuttu Files FR Against New CJ Appointment: Full Text Of The Petition
By Colombo Telegraph -
SC (FR) 23/2013 was filed this morning by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu challenging the taking of steps purporting to fill the post of Chief Justice on the basis that in terms of a determination of the Supreme Court and a Judgment of the Appeal Court, there was no valid Parliamentary Select Committee finding against Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake on which she could be Constitutionally and legally removed. In terms of the Court rulings, she could only have been duly impeached by the passing of proper laws, rather than through Standing Order 78A of Parliament.
Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu - CPA
Therefore, the Petitioners request the Supreme Court to hold that any steps by the Parliamentary Council to express any opinion on the name of Mohan Pieris, PC and any steps by Pieris to accept any purported appointment, act as or exercise any functions of the office of Chief Justice involves violation of the Constitution, and the equal protection of the law guaranteed to the citizens of Sri Lanka under Article 12(1) of the Constitution. The Petitioners also urge the Court to grant a Stay Order preventing Pieris from accepting the position of, acting as or exercising the functions of the Chief Justice unless and until a valid vacancy is created for the position.
Lawyers for the Petitioners had urged through a Motion that in view of the grave urgency the case which was filed this morning be listed for support today itself (15.01.2013) before any bench of the Supreme Court. However, the case was not listed for support today.
In the meantime, Pieris was able to take oath before the President around midday today.
When FR cases are filed, usually 3 dates are tendered for grant of a date to support for leave to proceed and any interim relief. The other 2 dates given are 16.01.2013 and 17.01.2013.
In the meantime, many lawyers protested in Hulftsdorp and held lit candles in broad daylight, to signify that a great darkness has fallen over Hulftsdorp even in broad daylight with the President and Government willfully violating the Constitution and stripping the judiciary of independence. Hulftsdorp was virtually overrun by a large contingent of policemen, with arrangements made to peer into every lawyer’s car entering the Superior Courts Complex to keep Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake from entering the premises in the context of several media reports that she does not accept the validity of her supposed removal. A tense situation arose when some police officers tried to exclude 2 lawyers identified with protesting against the impeachment from re-entering the premises by closing the gate. Large numbers of lawyers poured in and demanded that the gate be opened, till it was.
Sources said that the Petition, filed through Attorney at Law Namal Rajapakshe is to be supported by Senior Counsel M. A. Sumanthiran with Viran Corea, Suren Fernando, S. A. Beling and Luwie ’Ganeshathasan.