14 July, 2024


‘Council Of Jurists’ Exposed: Pakistani CJ Disassociates Himself From Letter To MR, British Jurists Have No Connection To The Council

By Colombo Telegraph

Pakistan’s powerful Chief Justice, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry issued a statement earlier this week, disassociating himself from a controversial letter written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by the International Council of Jurists, supporting the process to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.

Chief Justice, Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry

“It is clarified that no support has ever been extended by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to the decision of removing the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake,” a statement on the official website of Pakistan’s Supreme Court said.

The Pakistan Supreme Court website statement notes that while its Chief Justice has been conferred the status of Vice President of the International Council of Jurists, he had never supported the statement issued by the organization.

The letter from the International Council of Jurists is the only one of its kind, and provides a detailed defence of the Sri Lankan Government’s impeachment process that resulted in Bandaranayake’s sacking from office.

“In this situation, we take this opportunity to assure that the Sri Lankan Government has not committed wrong in removing Chief Justice Ms Shirani Bandaranayake as the removal proceedings were absolutely in accordance with the prevalent Sri Lankan laws,” the Council of Jurists President Dr. Adish C Aggarwala wrote to President Rajapaksa. Aggarwala is also the President of the All India Bar Association.

On its official website, the International Council of Jurists cites the Vice Presidents of the organization as being the Chief Justice of Pakistan, the Chief Justice of Bangladesh and the Honourable Lord Navnit Dhoalakala, House of Lords member UK, and a former British High Court judge among others, and a former International Court of Justice (world court) Vice President.

Colombo Telegraph learns that the two British jurists cited as being Vice Presidents of the International Council of Jurists on the council’s website and mentioned in the original news item had also been entirely unaware of the letter to President Rajapaksa by Aggarwala. Sir Justice Gavin Lightman, the British High Court judge in question had resigned as Vice President to the Council, the Colombo Telegraph learns.

It is also learnt that Baron Dholakia has claimed to have no connection to the Council of Jurists and does not endorse Aggarwala’s statements.

Aggrawala’s letter stated that organizations that were decrying Bandaranayake’s removal were not aware of Sri Lankan law.

“It is always better to know law first and then comment,” Aggarwala notes, extending the ICJ’s full support to the newly appointed Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

  • 0

    What’s the position of All India Bar Association please?

  • 0

    The Pakistan judiciary is strongly independent and it was a surprise when the so called International Coucil of Jurist issued such a statement without conducting any investigation whatsoever. No doubt this was the age old ‘Índian Rope Trick’ as regularly displayed by the Indian Govt and now by Mr Kamalesh Sharma. Being dupicitious and making arbitrary statements seems to be a cultural attribute.

    Indian Rope Trick
    In the simplest version, the magician would hurl a rope into the air. The rope would stand erect, with no external support. His boy assistant, Jamoora, would climb the rope and then descend.
    A more elaborate version would find the magician (or his assistant) disappearing after reaching the top of the rope, then reappearing at ground level.
    The “classic” version, however, was much more detailed: the rope would seem to rise high into the skies, disappearing from view. The boy would climb the rope and be lost to view. The magician would call back his boy assistant, and, on getting no response, become furious. The magician then armed himself with a knife or sword and climbed the rope, vanishing too. An argument would be heard, and then limbs would start falling, presumably cut from the assistant by the magician. When all the parts of the body, including the torso, landed on the ground, the magician would climb down the rope. He would collect the limbs and put them in a basket, or collect the limbs in one place and cover them with a cape or blanket. Soon the boy would appear, restored.

  • 0

    A counter productive thrust of propaganda from the idiotic spin masters of this government and which was enthusiastically carried by the more idiotic hurrah boys in the state meedia, Raj Abey and others!! Now the lie is exposed. See the messy stuff landing on their faces!

  • 0

    This Agrawalla’s conduct from the beginning has been suspect. To start with how credible on the Impeachment issue is his white-washing of Rajapakse – unsolicited. The issue is becoming murkier by the hour with almost everyone Aggrawala claimed as his colleagues denying any involvement. How did the State-owned Ceylon Daily News, under a brand new Editor in Chief, get involved in this comedy. To save the good name of India’s judiciary the highest judicial bodies they must look into the matter and take appropriate steps if Agrawalla has been playing foul. If Agrawalla is still in service he should be impeached.


  • 0

    Why has Dr. Aggarwala gone out of his way to justify the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake? Did MR seek his opinion? Is he by the virtue of the office he holds, expected to express his opinion on controversial matters of this nature? Did he consult the membership before issuing the controversial statement? Is he running the Council on the lines the `academic shops’ selling doctorates for a price are being run? Aggarwala does not appear to be a Kabuliwala well intentioned and magnanimous! Let us hope that the Indian legal fraternity will ascertain whether Aggarwasla has violated professional ethics in issuing the statement in question. Don’t they smell a rat?

  • 0

    Let us revisit the distant past for a moment. Five years or so ago, the honorable judiciary was trying to reinvent itself by defying a dictator and his dictates. The underlying premise was that a dictator wielded undue influence and exercised unlimited and unquestioned powers. The concept in theory was fairly novel and praiseworthy. Very respectfully, I saw it quite differently. The overly chastised dictator was found to be a ‘dictator’ after approximately seven years of his rule…why that was so is my question. Do you see as I see a ‘disconnect’ here? All was well until the dictator exercised his constitutional power to question one of the respected members of the judiciary. By the way, the same honorable judiciary awarded the so-called dictatorial power to him.

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