13 December, 2019

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Exclusive Bench Fixing Expose: Documentary Proof Of Mohan Pieris Interfering With Case Challenging His Own De Facto CJ Appointment

The Colombo Telegraph is able to reveal today through this exclusive report, documentary proof that de facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris has interfered in fundamental rights case SC (FR) 23/2013, challenging his own appointment. He is a party to the case as the 6th respondent and stands to benefit or lose personally depending on the outcome of the case.

de facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris

The case filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, its Executive Director, asks the Supreme Court to declare as invalid and illegal, the so called appointment of Mohan Pieris to usurp the functions of the position of Chief Justice after the unconstitutional and illegal ouster of Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake. She was forcibly excluded from her office and from exercising her functions as the legal CJ, after a kangaroo style inquiry by a Parliamentary Select Committee dominated by nominees of the Rajapaksa regime, which acted contrary to established principles of Natural Justice to arrive at so called findings of guilt. The Rajapaksa controlled Parliament purported to impeach CJ Bandaranayake on the basis of these so called findings. These steps were in violation and disregard of two rulings of the Supreme Court and Appeal Court which held basically, that any impeachment required to be conducted through a proper impartial process through laws passed for the purpose.

The controversial so called impeachment resulted in strong protests and rejection by the legal profession, which refused to welcome Mohan Pieris as de facto Chief Justice and boycotted a sham ceremonial welcome for Pieris organized by a few pro-regime lawyers. There was widespread local and international criticism and condemnation of the so called impeachment, with the whole process widely recognized as a clear denial of the independence of the judiciary and a violation of established essential standards for there to be judicial independence.

The function of “listing” cases, though given by the Constitution to the Chief Justice is in practice exercised by what is commonly called as a “listing judge”. Therefore, when the CPA case challenging Pieris’ so called appointment was filed, it was sent by the Supreme Court Registrar on 21.01.2013 as usual to Justice K. Sripavan, as the judge in charge of listing new cases to be supported. Sripavan has made a direction to the SC Registrar on the same day (21.01.2013) in his own handwriting for the case to be taken up on 23.01.2013 with notice to the Attorney General. The journal entries confirm that on the very next day (22.01.2013), notices have been submitted and sent to the AG as required by Sripavan’s directive.

Recently, Colombo Telegraph reported that the team of counsels appearing for the petitioners (CPA & Dr. Saravanamuttu) withdrew from the case in protest, after 5 judges selected by Pieris to hear the case refused to allow an application that the case should be decided as a matter of duty by all judges of the Supreme Court (called as ‘full bench’ in legal jargon) without leaving out any judges, and that according to established standards clearly seen through much international case law, if any judge had any difficulty or reluctance to hear such a case, the reason why the duty to hear the case can’t be performed must be informed in open court for the knowledge, consideration and any relevant submissions of parties to the case.

Several respected retired judges and senior lawyers contacted by Colombo Telegraph who asked not to be named, confirmed that it is a very basic principle in any civilised justice system with integrity that a party to a case should not make any selective decision affecting who should hear the case, and that any judgement gained by such a selection would be void, illegal, extremely suspicious and damaging to the judiciary. Some of them however added that they understand the pressure a few judges are coming under while others are openly compromised, which though not a good enough excuse is a very real factor in what is sadly happening.

In this scenario, we are able to reveal today, how Mohan Pieris (6th Respondent in the case) has got the case submitted to himself on 12.03.2013 to select a bench. Having done that, in his own handwriting he has made a vague direction in the journal of the case record to the SC Registrar to speak to him on 27.03.2013. The Registrar as after that made a note on the record that the “CJ” was spoken to and that the file is to be resubmitted to him on 11.06.2013. The Colombo Telegraph notes that there is no transparency in what was discussed on 27.03.2013 even though Pieris is a party to the case and should not have been making any choices affecting the process of hearing of the case.

It is after this that the case which initially came up before a full bench of the Supreme Court, was ‘specially fixed’ before just 5 judges of the Supreme Court. The case record is now being kept from being accessed by reporters even though it is a public record. A source in the registry told us that the case record is now with Pieris himself to be sent to the Supreme Court when the case is taken up on 27.09.2013 before 5 judges nominated by him.

On the last date of the case, after the CPA’s lawyers withdrew from the case, the 5 judges told Deputy Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando that he can take up preliminary objections to the case on 27.09.2013, so that if the court rules in favour of the DSG, the case can be ended without going into the merits of the case. This was done without giving the CPA time to find a suitable counsel to undertake the case, which is what is normally done when counsels withdraw from a case for any reason.

According to reliable sources who requested not to be named, the judges are expected to somehow finish the impeachment cases and make orders that can be used to make some kind of an argument that Bandaranayake’s impeachment was legal, before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is held in Colombo in November 2013. The removal of judicial independence by the controversial 18th Amendment to the Constitution and ouster of CJ Bandaranayake has resulted in great international and local concern and the highly questionable impeachment saga remains a huge embarrassment to the ruling Rajapaksa regime.

Published below are the above mentioned journal entries in the case record of SC (FR) 23/2013 that we have been able to get for the benefit of our readers.

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    These buggers have no shame and self respect. Although educated are not any different to the Mervyn, Mahipala type. No wonder it is said one can acquire a Degree but not the Pedigree.

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      very true

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      I concur. Moron Peiris and other officials prefer to make their journal entries in ENGLISH, so what is all the talk of Sinhalese being the official language? My foot!

  • 0
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    Likely actions sollicited by Cheap justice may include
    1. Burning the book in kanatte
    2. Bribing more lawyers
    3. Contact wimal to speak about a kumanthranaya
    4. Bootlicking the executives (ane maava beraganna)

  • 0
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    CT,Thanks for this expose.
    Now the citizens know the type of ‘justice’ they can expect from this “Chief Justice” and his kangaroo court.

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    Reliable sources close to the former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake has disclosed that when Mohan Peiris, President’s Counsel was Attorney General, he had reported Faisz Musthapaha, President’s Counsel to CJ Shirani Bandaranayake complaining that Faisz Musthapaha President’s Counsel had appeared for the State in appearing for then Petroleum Minister A.H.M. Fowzie in the Petroleum Oil Hedging deal Cases and thereafter had appeared in the International Arbitration for Deutsche Bank, a Bank that did a Petroleum Oil Hedging deal with Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.
    Upon which CJ Shirani Bandaranayake had required Attorney General Mohan Peiris, President’s Counsel to make written Complaint for action to be taken. Attorney General Mohan Peiris, President’s Counsel had chickened out and had failed to make the Complaint in writing to CJ Shirani Bandaranayake. Hence, no Inquiry could be had.
    Attorney General Mohan Peiris, President’s Counsel lost the Petroleum Oil Hedging deal to Deutsche Bank in the International Arbitration with the country now having to pay US $ 80 million for nothing.

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    Also former Chairman Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Asantha de Mel who was sacked by the Supreme Court has bitterly complained to confidantes that Ali Sabry, President’s Counsel had been a Director on the Board of Directors of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and that it is he as Lawyer on the Board of Directors who had advised to proceed with the Petroleum Oil Hedging deals consulting Nithya Partners and not the Attorney General, Mohan Peiris, President’s Counsel and that no action had been taken against him.
    Ceylon Petroleum Corporation also lost the London High Court Case on the Petroleum Oil Hedging deals with the country loosing US $ 165 million with Attorney General Mohan Peiris, President’s Counsel appearing for the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation in the London High Court Case, together with UK Lawyers.

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      Nithya Partners has taken the country for a ride by giving wrong legal advice….and so has the former AG and current CJ Mohan Peiris.
      That law firm is still giving legal advice (God Help those clients) and the current CJ is sitting pretty dishing out judgments (God Help the litigants)!

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    Sri Lankan Lawyers and Judges have been recognized all over the world. In fact leading Judges and Lawyers have been actively involved in drafting constitutions for certain African Countries. This is the legacy of the Sri Lankan judicial system. But this regime and the Cheap Justice they appointed removing the lawful Chief Justice is destroying all the respect that was built all around the world by previous legal persons. Shame on this regime and the Cheapest Justice in the world.

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      CT – Please let me quote another reader’s comment which appeared some time ago – “The Supreme Court is now full of a den of thieves that wear a goni padanguwa on their heads, just like the coolies who man-handle piti mutte in the warehouse at the Colombo harbour”. So now what we have is a mad dictator by the name of Hitlerpaksha who is also the chief of the judiciary and he appointed Moron Peiris as the Thief Justice! Miracle of Asia??

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    As long as the independent commissions as per the 17th amendment is not implemented these kind of things will continue with impunity and nothing can be done about it by the public.Ranil did say recently that implementing the 17th amendment was not priority,but after that did not follow up about what he plans to do about agitating for it.Typical of ranil,only talk,talk and talk and no action.

    • 0
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      “not priority”should have been “top priority”.

  • 0
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    Who will impeach the GOSL

  • 0
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    This mans Mother was honourable and well liked music teacher[every one called her Singing Teacher} at St Antony college Wattale. This guy is a disgrace to the family.

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    Why are we not surprised to hear that so called great lawyer Faiz Mustaph appered for both sides , Petroleum Corporation and the foreign Destuch bank in the scandaleous Hedging Case. Mohan Pieris then appearing for the government had complained about this serious breach of professional integrity to the former CJ Mrs Shirani Bandaranayake but did not follow up with a petition. The former CJ also did not have the guts to call for the record and commence disciplinary action against this kind of mercenary lawyers who find all the weaknesses of the Petroleum Corporation ( then led by a clueless fast bowler who owed his appointment to a kingship with Mrs Mahinda Rajapakse) while being their lawyer, and then appear for the foreign Destuch Bank attempting to get billions of rupees from the same corporation ! I think it is very appropriate that Faiz Mustaph is called a Presidents Counsel because his morals and standards are just like the Presidents ! Do you think the present CJ Mohan Pieris ( yes the same one who complained earlier!) will have the guts to commence investigations against Faiz Mustaph ! If he even tries he will get it in choicest Hambantota presidential lingo because Faiz Mustapha’s son Faiza is now a cabinet minister ! And by the way it is on record that the fast bowler who went in to the agreement obtained a job for his daughter from the foreign bank ! The obvious stupidity of Nithya partners ( meaning law partners ?) is there for all to see, their client the government of Sri Lanka has lost billions of rupees of poor people’s money as a result of guidence of these lawyers !. Good luck to the CJ Mohan Pieris and his bunch of unethical lawyers who claim to be from an honourable profession !

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