Good governance activist and retired civil servant, R. M. B. Senanayake has called upon the Attorney General to explain reasons which led to the withdrawal of charges against former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.
He emphasized that even though the media had reported that Bandaranayake was acquitted on all charges, in fact the headlines were wrong because she was not acquitted and instead the charges against her were withdrawn, and she had not even been called seeking explanation on the charges.
“The authorities should explain to the public the reasons which led to the charges not being proffered, otherwise the public might wonder if there was an attempt to victimize her for her independence,” he said.
Senanayake also noted that the Attorney General must explain to the people, otherwise the dangerous practice of leveling charges against the Judges or the Chief Justice to bring pressure on them to resign may be resorted to by the Executive branch of the State undermining the independence of the Judiciary.
In 2013, the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption said it was in possession of enough evidence against Bandaranayake to prove her involvement in several bribery and corruption allegations.
However on February 19, 2016 the Commission withdrew the charge sheet against her and she was subsequently acquitted on all charges by the Colombo Chief Magistrate.