Chief Justice K Sripavan has failed to appoint a Bench to hear the judicial corruption charges made against him and three other former Chief Justices (Sarath N Silva, Shirani Bandaranayake and Mohan Peiris) and also against the incumbent President of Court of Appeal, Vijith Malalgoda, Colombo Telegraph can reveal today.
This Writ Application (SC/Writs/03/2016) case was filed on 29th March 2016 by the Public Interest Litigation Activist Nagananda Kodituwakku against the Corruption Commission for its failure to initiate a credible and independent inquiry, against the formal complaint made by him on 15-02-2016 against the said Judges who are cited as Respondents in this case. All the members of the Corruption Commission and its Director General have also been made respondents in the case, which seeks a mandatory order from the Court against the Corruption Commission to initiate a credible and independent investigation on the Corruption charges made.
One of the main charges leveled against the CJ Sripavan is that he has condoned the unlawful appointment of rejected candidates as MPs through the National List and the opinion expressed by him that the ‘National List abuse’ is ‘not a matter of National importance’. This stand taken by the CJ has been challenged as a clear abuse of office to confer a benefit to the Executive President Maithreepala Sirisena, who has appointed Justice Sripavan to the office of the CJ outside the due process.
The UN Human Rights Council has also been made a Respondent in this case, since the United National Human Rights Council has expressed its concerns on the state of Sri Lanka’s Judiciary and adopted a Resolution against the Government of Sri Lanka on 01st Oct 2015, emphasizing the need for accountability in the Administration of Justice. The Resolution also calls for individuals with integrity and impartiality be appointed for the administration of Justice, that is essential in upholding the Rule of Law to build people’s confidence. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka too has been cited as a Respondent, as it has endorsed the stand taken by the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Government of Sri Lanka with a Statement issued, stressing the point, that over a period of time, the independence and credibility of the judicial and prosecutorial systems have failed to meet the confidence of the people resulting in an erosion of the people’s confidence in the Sri Lanka’s Justice System
However, since filing this action on 29th March 2016, the Chief Justice Sripavan has failed to appoint a Bench to hear this case, and thus the Activist has challenged the conduct of the Chief Justice as a clear abuse of people’s Judicial power, the CJ exercises on Trust. Therefore, in the fresh Motion filed in Court on Friday (06-05-2016), the Activist has urged the Chief Justice to perform his constitutional duty and to appoint a Full Bench of the Supreme Court for this case of greater National Importance. The activist states that the abuses reported against the Judiciary amount to clear violation of its statutory obligations to protect, vindicate and enforce people’s judicial power.
As the Court has failed to serve notice on the UN Human Rights Council which is a Respondent in the case, the Activist has taken steps to serve the Notice directly on the Council, notifying the Court accordingly.