By Colombo Telegraph –
The former Attorney General, Mohan Pieris, PC widely considered an aspirant to the job of Chief Justice if Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake is removed, has engaged in serious professional misconduct in relation to a case filed against Sri Lanka Customs, the Colombo Telegraph can reveal today.
Read the Sinhala translation of this article here
A fundamental rights application (SC FR 360/2008) was filed on behalf of Royal Fernwood Porcelain Ltd by Mohan Pieris prior to his appointment as Attorney General. Pieris’ name was marked as appearing for the Petitioner (Royal Fernwood Porcelain Ltd) on 06.10.2008 and the case was refixed at his request for 10.11.2008.
On 10.11.2008, Pieris himself has made submissions to the Supreme Court, to the effect that ‘representations have been made to the Director General of Customs and there is a likelihood of administrative relief’. On this basis, a further postponement has been sought without supporting the case for leave to proceed. The court, presided over by (then) Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva has directed ‘that this matter be finalized by the Department of Customs’ and had the case listed for mention on 03.12.2008.
On 03.12.2008, Pieris has appeared before the Supreme Court presided over again by (then) Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, and the Supreme Court has amongst other things, directed that the basis of the mitigation of the sum imposed on the Petitioner as a forfeiture be disclosed to court on the next date. Pieris ceased to appear for the Petitioner in the case after this date. Pieris was appointed Attorney General by President Mahinda Rajapaksa without the required sanction of the Constitutional Council with the failure to implement the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, in a move heavily criticized and unpopular with many officers of the Attorney General’s Department.
However, up to that point, he was the senior counsel in the case, who appeared for Royal Fernwood Porcelain Ltd and fought against Customs, a revenue collection agency of the State to obtain relief for that company. It is well known that big companies pay very high fees to Counsel for high value cases involving multi-millions of Rupees at stake. This case involved a mitigated forfeiture of Rs.75,462,012/- as borne out by the case journal records.
After Pieris was controversially catapulted into the top slot of the Attorney General’s Department, he ceased to appear in the case before the Supreme Court. However, Colombo Telegraph has come into possession of a document which reveals that Pieris held consultations with Customs and wrote a letter dated 31st March 2009 under his own hand on the letterhead of the Chambers of the Hon. Attorney General advising the Director General of Customs to settle the case on terms put forward by the Petitioner Company as acceptable. Accordingly, Pieris writing under his own hand has directed the Director General of Customs that a sum of Rs.2,616,219/- only be recovered as duty and other levies, citing a view taken by the Supreme Court. Whatever the case may be with regard to the factual merits of the opposing positions taken by the Petitioner Company and Customs, the said revelation is suggestive of serious professional misconduct and could be deemed corruption at the highest level.
It is a fundamental tenet of the legal profession that an Attorney-at-Law should not act for two opposing or conflicting sides to a legal dispute. Quite apart from the fact that it is moral commonsense, the prohibition is expressly laid down in the Supreme Court (Conduct of and Etiquette for Attorneys-at-Law) Rules of 1988. Rule 2 makes clear that “These Rules shall apply to every Attorney-at-Law admitted and enrolled by the Supreme Court of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”. This includes Pieris.
The most apparent improper conflict of interest evidently also involves serious beaches of several Supreme Court Rules.
Supreme Court (Conduct of and Etiquette for Attorneys-at-Law) Rules of 1988, Rule 6 requires that:
An Attorney-at-Law shall not act for any party or person in professional matters in which the said Attorney-at-Law has a personal interest unless after making full disclosure of the said interest to the client and after obtaining a declaration in writing that the client has no objection to the Attorney-at-Law acting for him.
Supreme Court (Conduct of and Etiquette for Attorneys-at-Law) Rules of 1988, Rule 7 mandates that:
An Attorney-at-Law shall not appear or advise in any professional matter which in his opinion would be in conflict with the interest of any other client in such or connected professional matter.
Supreme Court (Conduct of and Etiquette for Attorneys-at-Law) Rules of 1988, Rule 18 mandates that:
An Attorney-at-Law shall act with complete frankness and honesty in advice to and all dealings with his client.
In fact, the Supreme Court (Conduct of and Etiquette for Attorneys-at-Law) Rules clearly outlines the high degree of integrity required of a practicing lawyer, by providing that a lawyer ought to withdraw altogether from any professional matter, even in the following situation:
Where a conflict arises between the interests of two or more clients for whom the Attorney-at-Law is acting, the Attorney-at-Law shall cease to act for all of the said clients unless he decides that he can without any professional impropriety or embarrassment to himself appear for any one of more of such clientsprovided other such client or clients agree that he might so appear. (Rule 8 )
The matters now revealed raise serious issues of professional impropriety and it is most apparent that the above mentioned Supreme Court Rules have been breached.
In the past, many lawyers have been subjected to disciplinary proceedings and even struck off the list of Attorneys-at-Law after the issuance of a Rule by the Supreme Court for having appeared for opposing parties in the same case. The impropriety is even more shocking and scandalous when it is perpetrated by the Chief Law Officer of the State, handpicked and appointed over the heads of the senior officers in the ranks of the Attorney General’s Department without an independent mechanism for the making of high appointments.
Mohan Pieris has been appointed as the Chairman, Seylan Bank after the collapse of the Ceylinco Group, of which the bank was a part. The question arises as to whether a person who has acted in such an inappropriate manner is fit to hold the reins of a banking institution, and what impact such appointments have on the credibility of the banking and financial sector under the present political dispensation.
It remains to be seen whether the forces that hold sway will also seek to catapult Pieris to the highest position of the judiciary, especially after the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has resolved not to respect any person appointed to replace Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake as Chief Justice without giving her a proper, independent inquiry provided for by law.
Several analysts expressed the view to Colombo Telegraph that with rumours abounding that former Attorney General, C. R. De Silva, PC and several respected sitting judges of the Supreme Court refusing to replace her in such circumstances, any step to appoint the controversial Mohan Pieris to the hallowed position of Chief Justice would signal another significant milestone in a rapidly increasing erosion of the Rule of Law – in more ways than one, as this ‘expose’ reveals!
The Colombo Telegraph has been unable to reach C. R. De Silva for comment.
Rs 619 Million Public Funds Fraud Case Against Mohan Peiris And PB Jayasundara: The Lawyer Was Threatened
Mohan Pieris: The Best Fitting CJ For A Lawless Regime
Read the Sinhala translation of this article here
Ronny / January 9, 2013
Birds of the same feather.
C. Wijeyawickrema / January 9, 2013
Have you ever heard of the Sixteen Dreams of the Buddhist King Pasenadi Kosol?
These people are corrupt to the core.
Veedhur / January 9, 2013
I dont’ see the point of the article.
From what I can gather from reading it Mohan Pieris appears immensely qualified to be the Chief Justice of Rajapakistan… so why the kalabala?
Bevan / January 9, 2013
Two political appointees Sarath Silva and Asoka Silva brought the SC to disrepute. Yhe nation pays a heavy price for that today.
Bring Mohan Peiris and when he is found unsuitable put Mervin or Weerawansa and then the job is complete
Cheers Basil you have done it.
gamini / January 9, 2013
What you need for this Govt is an APE MINIHA who is capable of SHAPING thing up.Mohan Peiris fits in well for the job.So why all this fuss
The Professional / January 10, 2013
One more case against Mohan Pieris PC.
A PP of a professional body was convicted on charges framed against child abused. The convict appealed against the verdict and Mohan Pieris PC was the counsel that appeared for the convict. Before the case was concluded MP PC was appointed as the AG and on the following calling date of the case the counsel representing the AG informed the CA that the government did not want to proceed with case. The convict was free.
Jaydon / January 10, 2013
Unfortunately, people like Veedhur don’t seem to undestand the ponint. Conflict of interests in Judicial proceedings is fundemental issue in governance. This would not matter in politics, which you see and hear every day!!! Mohan as the AG had favoured his former client, causing 73 million loss to the people of this country!!!
lanka / January 10, 2013
So Mohan Peiris is naturally qualified to be the CJ of MR’s lawless ‘failed State’.
Jayantha / January 12, 2013
You don’t need qualifications to be a CJ or Attorney General in MARA Banana Democratic, socialist republic of………..
As ex.CJ Sarath N.Silva says, You only need to be an Ace Crook…a big time thief and a swindler, and be a Ass Licking Pig.
That’s all you need.
Ranil / January 13, 2013
Well said Jayantha
Park / January 12, 2013
Biggest crook, with the aid of a bigger crook, is replacing the honest! What a shame.
The Professional / January 17, 2013
Who was the honest person who was replaced? Former CJ SB?
Bull shit. She also had her killote full.
Villager / January 12, 2013
So, all you clowns who penned stupid, vulgar and boorish writing here to defend a shady, dishonest and a corrupt woman are resolved to accept the reality of new CJ. Good, very good indeed. You know, I am a realist. Everything that I have been predicting has turned out to be true.
dingiri / January 15, 2013
If the regime knew all about her shady and dishonest dealings right along, why did they appoint her to the job in the first place? Was it not because dishonesty and corruptability is now a requirement for holding high office under this govt so the President can use it to control the person involved? Why was not Mervyn or any of the other corrupt crooks sacked with the same enthusiasm while this woman was sacked? Is it not purely because of her judgement against divineguma?
She may be corrupt. But there is someone infinitely more corrupt. And that is the man who appointed her and later sacked her when she didnt do his bidding.
M Y Foote / January 19, 2013
Tut Tut……. shshhhhhhhshhhhhh
Don’t make the cardinal mistake of asking anything logical from this village lass. S/he will respond with a Malle Pol answer. Enjoy her disjointed responses and if you are lucky you might even find it fun deciphering some of them.
She and Kiss A*se Sumane have a huge fan club here at CT, have you not noticed?
M Y Foote
M Y Foote / January 19, 2013
Since you are so clairvoyant and all your predictions are proving you right any chances of you peering into the dark future of this country and predicting when this bloody regime will fall?
M Y Foote
Leela / January 12, 2013
Mohan Peiris is an obedient servant of King Percy who withdrew 143 indictments against political henchmen whilst he was the AG. Long live King Percy.
Kusum a Akka / January 12, 2013
Welcome Mohan Penis, the Thief Justice of the Banana Republic of Shrilanka!
kautilya / January 13, 2013
This bugger became the biggest Sri Lankan International Liar in Modern Time. In Geneva he said that “Prgaeeth Eknaligoda is living in an asylum in a foreign country,. Later back in Sri Lanka this same Pieris said in a Magistrate Courts that ” Only god knows where Ekanaligoda is”
JULAAMPITYE AMARAYA / January 14, 2013
AS PER THE Supreme Court (Conduct of and Etiquette for Attorneys-at-Law) Rules of 1988, Rule 18;
HE HAS SHOWN HIS ;complete frankness and honesty in advice to and all dealings with his client.
SO WE HOPE THIS CROOK WILL SHOW THE SAME FRANKNESS AND HONESTY FUTURE TO HIS FELLOW CITIZENS.
lanka / January 14, 2013
I AM THE ALL POWERFUL EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT OF THIS COUNTRY AND ALL OTHERS SHOULD COMPLY AND ABEY MY ORDERS. I APPOINT THE ONE WHO WOULD CARRYOUT MY ORDERS AND ONLY MY ORDERS AS THE CJ AND NO ONE HAS ANY RIGHT TO QUESTION MY DECISIONS BECAUSE I AM THE EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT. OTHERS HAVE LIBERTY TO DEMONSTRATE THEIR DISSENT BUT SHOULD REALISE THAT SUCH ACTIONS WOULD BE COUNTERED BY STRONGEST MEASURES, POSSIBLY WITH A PAINFUL ‘DEATH’.
JULAAMPITYE AMARAYA / January 14, 2013
YOU THE IDIOTIC POWERFUL EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT,
Without demonstrating the dissent many have liquidated, acid bathed and forced to vanished to thin air with the help of uncivilized relatives and stooges.
IS IT THE MANDATE GIVEN TO YOU BY INNOCENT MASSES OF THIS COUNTRY, YOU BLOODY BUTCHER??????????????????????????.
bala sunderam / January 15, 2013
Hello fellow Sri Lankan citizens,
Only way to stop this rot is by eliminating them . Get the ‘under cover’ operations organised. Bring on the govt.’s ‘ WHITE VAN ‘ policy and turn it on them.Less pain . Much to gain. Kanatte awaits !
shaazah / January 17, 2013
Hereafter cases may be heard at Temple trees
some cases can be concluded with in a week
but Litigants should not expect Natural Justice- Rule of Law
only available Mahinda Chindana Justice and MR Rule.
justice / January 19, 2013
Now Mohan Peris is “Chief Justice”.
Maybe he will rewrite the Rules of Etiquette as a courtier in the Halls of Justice of King M.Rajapakse.
Will the international legal fraternity respect him,after this expose?
Is he a person fit to be the representative of the Democratic Socialist Republic, in international fora?
Will not others laugh/sneer at him in secret ?
Jayantha / January 22, 2013
Both President Rajapakse and Defense Secretary think they always can hoodwink the International community….and think that other countries live like them as Game Gode Paksa Pansal dayakayas.
They don’t know even what is going on in their own party and personal information are transferred in MILI SECONDS around the world.
Their movements are checked, analysed and respond even faster than their reaction. Therefore the time they played hide and seek with international community is lapsed long ago.
This Hambantota pai…s think hey are the Biggest Puppet show Crooks. They don’t know that Kolamba Kakkas are smarter than them.
I feel so sad, frustrated and angry to hear all these crap Gota is talking about. He is a guy who ran away to USA like a coward during the hight of war and after coming back never went to front line.
He forgot it was USA that gave him shelter during difficult times.Also it was USA who authorised Isreal to sell Fighter Jets and other Arms to Sri Lanka. Also it was USA who proscribed LTTE as a terrorist group and also jailed their arms dealers.Also US Navy Seals and Special Forces trained so many of our Soldiers to win LTTE war.
Now Hambantota ungrateful GOTA son of a Bas…ard and a Bi…ch Forgot all of these….and now Challenge USA saying “any donkey can do what Americans do” Don’t you think That this A….e H….e is talking crazy. Don’t he know it took USA only half hour to get Osama Bin Laden. Noriega, Gadaffi, Sadam Husain etc.
GOTA is simply a Office Boy, a gas station attendant and a security guard in USA now got his head swolen after looting all the country’s wealth.
He think his China Mudalali will help him to fight USA or the West. China will screw the whole Sri Lanka by giving LANU (rope) to Gota and Mara. It is China’s advise Gota follow to Destablise Sri Lanka. USA is China’s biggest trading Partner, and China will never do anything to jeopardize their trade to rescue Sri Lanka….which is peanuts and a one sided business to them.
While we borrowed 2.3 Billion US dollars from China for projects and imports….our exports were only 20 million dollars.
Our exports to USA were US Dollars 800 Million while we imported only 250 million Dollars from USA.Therefore see who help us with our exports.
USA always told to do the right thing to all people in Sri Lanka.But after the war ended both MARA and GOTA went against their Promise to solve Minority tamil problem, and never bothered to solve it…..and now they are in a fix.
All they think is to establish a dictatorial regime in Sri lanka, and to achieve this……..the ever invalid, Sleeping Beauty inactive opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe helped. He slept until 60 odd UNPers crossed to MARA and allowed ex CJ Sarath Silva to pass this Motion and extrended 3 times to contest as President, and forced CJ Shirani Bandaranayake to pass 18th Draconian Amendment.
Coming few weeks are crucial and unless all Sri Lankan Patriots get together and stop this Crazy Lunatic Hambatota Kelaweddas now….they will definitely ruin the whole Country.
What they plan to do with the country is a mystery….but shows sing of ruining it.
Please somebody ask these MARA ra….ls not to mess with USA….and instead ask their help to re- build Sri Lanka.
They will create More Rizanas, but we are sure USA and the International community will never allow it.
It’s time to act.