26 October, 2020

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CPA’s FR Challenge To Mohan Pieris’ De Facto CJ Appointment – 5 Judges Bow Down & CPA’s Counsels Bow Out In Protest

A fundamental rights case by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) challenging the controversial installing of Mohan Pieris as de facto Chief Justice, fundamental rights cases challenging the so called impeachment of Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake disregarding Appeal Court and Supreme Court rulings, and cases challenging the validity of the controversial Parliament Standing Order 78A which was used to remove Bandaranayake without following basic principles of Natural Justice were taken up today (25.07.2013).

Mohan Pieris

The cases were specially fixed before a bench of 5 judges chosen by Pieris. The judges were Saleem Marsoof (PC), Chandra Ekanayake, Sathya Hettige (PC), Eva S. Wanasundera (PC) and Rohini Marasinghe.

When the fundamental rights case by the CPA was taken up, counsel M. A. Sumanthiran told the court that like on the previous date, he points out that it is very wrong for Mohan Pieris (6th Respondent in the case) to pick some judges and leave others out in his own case. He said all judges must assemble and hear the case without the 6th Respondent playing any part in the process for hearing and deciding the case. Justice Marsoof said whatever it is, there is someone functioning as the Chief Justice and they have to obey his directives. Justice Hettige asked how many cases Sumanthiran has appeared in before Mohan Pieris. Sumanthiran responded that this is only because he is acting as de facto Chief Justice and not because he is legally the Chief Justice. But he said, it is very wrong for Pieris to play any role in the conduct of his own case, where he is a respondent party and has personal interest. This is the proper way to question and challenge the appointment, he added. He said that it is the duty of all Supreme Court judges to assemble and hear the case as it is their duty to do so. If any judges have any difficulty, he pointed out that under international standards and decided cases, they must come on the bench and state in public what their reluctance is. There must be transparency he said.

Deputy Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando objected to Sumanthiran’s request. Sumanthiran said if the judges want, he is even willing as a compromise to technically make an application to 6th Respondent Pieris (de facto CJ) that all judges must be allowed to sit by nomination, without any choice being made by him. However DSG Fernando appearing for the AG objected strongly to this request, saying Pieris alone must make a choice of the judges he wants for the case. The judges did not take the compromise proposal after DSG Fernando said that the judges might be found fault with if they ask CJ to nominate all judges.

Sumanthiran then moved to withdraw from the case, saying he does not wish to continue to appear in the case in such a situation. He informed the court that he has good cause to withdraw from appearing in the case anymore because a party to the case is being allowed to choose a bench for his own case against basic legal principles of Natural Justice. DSG Fernando then wanted the judges to quickly dismiss the case without the CPA being given any chance to retain any new counsel. However Justice Marsoof told the DSG that the petitioner CPA should not be denied a chance to be heard and issued notice on the CPA and its registered attorney at law to appear on 27.09.2013 and argue the case. That day itself, a ‘preliminary objection’ raised by the DSG is to be tried.

In the cases challenging Standing Order 78A, lawyers M. A. Sumanthiran and Viran Corea appearing for the original petitioners objected to the intervention applications. Junior President’s Counsel Nigel Hatch appeared for a lawyer and Prof. H. M. Zaffrullah appeared for a person claiming to be a politician. The objections to intervention were made, saying that they were clearly sent to argue on behalf of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) members who did not want to defend their questionable actions themselves and that such actions should not be allowed. The judges allowed both people asking to intervene to enter the case to support the AG who is supporting the PSC’s conduct. President’s Counsel Ikram Mohamed who appeared for one of the original petitioners up to the last day now was not in court and the original petitioners in that case were not represented by any lawyer today. According to reliable sources Mohamed has shown reluctance to appear in the case after Pieris took control of the judiciary.

The judges told the original petitioners in the 4 cases challenging Standing Order 78A in the public interest, to file any responses of theirs to the issues in the paperwork filed by the 2 pro-regime persons allowed to intervene. They were given 4 weeks to do this. Other parties were told they can file any counter responses to it within 3 weeks after that. The cases were specially fixed for hearing on 23.10.2013 and 30.10.2013.

In an appeal against the Appeal Court ruling holding that the so called PSC findings were illegal and flawed, junior President’s Counsel Nigel Hatch asked to allow a public interest claiming party on whose behalf he make submissions in the Appeal Court though he was not allowed to intervene to now come into the appeal. He strongly criticised the Appeal Court judges for not allowing his request to intervene.

Counsel M. A. Sumanthiran appearing for R. Sampanthan (MP – TNA and PSC member) told court that Hatch was not making correct submissions and that Hatch’s client is not a necessary party and should not be allowed to interfere with the case being decided. All affected parties are before the court and in a writ case, each and every person who wants to say something doesn’t become entitled to interfere with the case by intervening as a busybody, he said.

Counsel Viran Corea appearing for Vijitha Herath (MP – JVP and PSC member) told court that he agrees with Sumanthiran’s submissions. He also said that what Hatch’s client is trying to do is to act as a proxy for government PSC members who did not have the sense of propriety to come to court and say what they had to say. Even if their position was that the court didn’t have jurisdiction, they should have come to court and said so out of respect for the judiciary and out of a sense of decency. When they have not done that, allowing Hatch’s client to act as their ‘proxy’ and make arguments they might have made is wrong and should not be allowed, he argued.

The judges gave Hatch’s client leave to appeal in the case after suspending their sittings for a while to decide what to do. The parties were told to file written submissions and the case was also fixed for argument on 23.10.2013.

After the highly condemned controversial 18th Amendment to the Constitution pushed through by the Rajapaksa regime, all judiciary appointments, promotions, postings and sackings are made by the ruling regime without checks and balances. The 18th Amendment erased the safeguards that were introduced through the 17th Amendment which was not properly followed by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and after her President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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Latest comments

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    What is the bet. Next Supreme Court judge is Nigel Hatch. Someone must be hatching a conspiracy already. Kumar

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    This proves the Judiciary is headed by a Cheap Justice who nominates Judges for cases where the Cheap Justice is a party to such a case. No where in the world such a thing will happen.

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    Thanks Sumanthiran for standing up for the rule of law in Sri Lanka! You are a national statesman for all Sri Lankans…

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    Mr. Sumanthiran, you should be the opposition leader in this country! By the way, is there a saying in English that Wig and Gown does not make a judge?

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      Yep, you said that right!

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      Sumanthiran should be president, not the opposition leader. He is Sri Lanka’s Abraham Lincoln.

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        Correctly said,

        we hope, it may come true, very soon.

        but present governance is ready to crush and destroy any opposition come against them.

        So, Hon Sumathitharan must be careful about the thug clan.

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    Nigel Hatch is doing what Mohan Peiris is doing to the judiciary…they both come from backgrounds that certainly arm them with class and integrity, without the need to bend over to a ruthless ruler, yet they seem to have connived, fallen prey either due to inherent weaknesses within them and only known to them or are after a very short cut to power they crave while oblivion to the reality and shame!

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    Mr. Sumanthiran has clearly demonstrated (and is evident) he is one staunch tower of credibility, principles, integrity, honour combined with an honourable legal practice…there is evidently no Sinhala or other leader with this armoury of aptitude and skill…not Ranil, not Rauf Hakeem (another Nigel Hatch/Mohan Peiris type)…so it is right to assume Mr. Sumanthiran is a worthy leadership candidate or an officer in a leader’s camp that governs all ethnic groups.

    After all, the principles he is fighting for in the superior courts clearly prove his courage in the face of the ruthless brothers and his wit against the manipulation of Mohan Peiris. Mohan Peiris probably needs to purchase a burial plot in the Cayman Islands or something because he is most likely not to get an honourable burial here! I do not support Justice Shirani either! For she as the Chief Justice disgracefully asked for a political appointment or “break” for he uneducated husband…she was not Chief Justice material either just because she had the education.

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      Well said! We are all witnesses to the greatness of M.A. Sumanthiran who will be the savior of all Sri Lankans….

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      I fully endorse what you say.

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    Mr Sumanathiran evedently was hand picked by the Leader of the TNA Mr Sambandan who was a proxy of the LTTE and Mr Prabakaran’s political rep in Srilankan Parliament.

    Now Mr Sumanathiran is challenging the legality of the Nation’s Chief Justice’s appointment on behalf of an NGO who still barracks for the LTTE.

    Isn’t it hilarious?.

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      HEy Sam! Why not write to Anagarika for some help to bash some tamil and muslim shops instead of talking politics. nothing like a hatchet job in dealing with the minorities when they challenge your own triple gems between your you know what.

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      So obvious what a back like you are sumane when you can not meet logical arguments you have stoop to low level. at least LTTE killed themselves for others good Rajapkase clan kill others for their own good

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      Mr Sumanasekera (if this is your real name)
      You are a proxy of Rajapakse regime. Do not just attribute motives to a counsel. As far as I know, being a lawyer the banking sector, none of the NGOs are paid by LTTE though your clique is totally dependent on what you get from the regime. Do not just defame others.

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      Please…. K.A. you are simply so wrong.

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    I cannot understand why the most senior Justice Nihal Amaratunge, and then Justice Bhavan were omitted.

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    Nigel Hatch was with the Liberal party and then with the UNP. Then, with DUNF. Got close to Sarath Amunugama. Through Sarath, got close to CBK who appeared to have been enamored by his English (very few people in Hultsdorf understand his English, specially the SLFP types who hate him). Then he got himself appointed a Presidential advisor. CBK was foolish enough to appoint him. Then he got around Kadirgamar too and finally got himself appointed PC.

    Now he has deserted CBK (serves her right for being so naïve) and has joined MR. Hatch cannot speak Sinhala, so one does not know how he communicated with SLFP types. Now he wants to be a SC judge and the SLFPers in Hultsdorf are vehemently against him. But MR likes people who came from the UNP and who can speak English well. MR does not like old-SLFP types because he has an inferiority complex.

    Hatch (Hatcha, as SLFP lawyers disparagingly call him) will succeed and together with Hora CJ Peris will ruin the country and the judiciary. If there is a case against CBK, Hatch will hold against her too.

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    I hope that the international community- the international lawyers’ and judges’ associations and the leaders of the Commonwealth countries in particular are closely following the proceedings of this case.

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      What is the use of the International Lawyers and Judges closely following the proceedings without rebutting the whole exercise. No country is willing to take MR head on because the US and the Indians are behind MR. All these buggers who pose off as PCs now have got their titles, bum sucking politicians including the CJ. What a shame the title of PC has sunk to the level of Deshabandu. The holders must be elated, but if they know what the general public think of them it is a disgrace. Then again what does it matter as these bloody PCs are shameless, the educate Scum.

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    I have a donkey whom I want to name `Sumanasekera’. On second thought, I have decided that it is an insult to it to give it that name, because this donkey shows some signs of intelligence!

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    To the utmost dissatisfaction of the NGO stooges and LTTE proxies Sumanthiran can never be a leader of the oppossission as he is not down to earth to understand the pulse of the ordinary people. Also he can never be the President of the country since JR’s Constitution does not provide a minority man even to contest the election. on the other hand the majority Sinahlees are not foolish enough to elect a traitor like Sumanthiran as their leader. The people of that kind would be thrown to the dust bin

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