6 December, 2019

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First Time Ever A Chief Justice Appears Before A Court On Criminal Proceedings

Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice was hauled before Magistrate’s Court this morning to answer charges based on an asset declaration case filed by the Bribery Commission, seen as an ongoing political witch-hunt against the senior judge who was impeached in January this year.

Over 100 lawyers from the Bar Association of Sri Lanka including President Upul Jayasuriya attended the hearing before Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya today.

Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake

The Chief Magistrate impounded the impeached Chief Justice’s passport and postponed the case for 19 February.

This is the first time a Chief Justice has appeared before court on criminal proceedings.

BASL Chief Jayasuriya said the association had requested legal associations across the world to watch the progress of Bandaranayake‘s trial to observe whether she was being given a fair hearing.

Bandaranayake’s impeachment in January this year was widely condemned as being legally flawed and unconstitutional, after the country’s top courts ruled the process violated provisions of the constitution and declared the proceedings null and void.

Sri Lanka’s parliament, pushed through with her removal inspite of the rulings, and appointed a successor leading to a massive crisis in the island’s judiciary.

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Latest comments

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    These are just jokes. See today how Sri Lankan Magistrate work. I went to court to get justice on closing a small Garage locate/opertae in high residential area by violating all government laws. PHI report, CEA report, Police report and even Municiple Council report. But court even did not look at all these things and ordered Municiple council to give licence to this illegal garage (thug) which operate less than 14 perch and less than 20 wide road in high residential area. Is this the rule of law? If CEA report says you can not operate garage in this location that is it. Magistrate has to close the garage and penalize the garage owner not closing it under the order of CEA that is the law. Later I found this magistrate is sleeping with garage owner’s wife and garage owner heavily influenced for this magistrate with many ways. Now I have only UN help. CJ and law authorities educate low level magistrate and penalised them to clean Sri Lankan legal system. Educate Sri Lankan magistrates about enviornment law. Bar Association, CJ and others.

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      What UN? If what you claim is true, you should have made an appeal to High Court against the judgement by the Magistrate Court. If that doesn’t work you could still go to Court of Appeal and finally to Supreme Court. Your talk about UN as the only option available without resorting to obvious remedial action make me wonder genuineness of your claim. And it shows your obvious immaturity.

      Having said that I fully agree that there are many a magistrates who are big headed and absolutely corrupt. If the bribery commission move against them by any chance, the so-called free press will accuse the government for witch-hunting. Remember the story that spread by lankaenews when Homagama magistrate was caught red hand visiting an accused of his court at late night to collect his bribe by sleuth of the bribery commission.

      Almost everyone that is accused in any court has an excuse. Excuse for ex CJ ShiraniB for some is that it is a negligible crime because maximum fine is less than Rs 1000/-. For all those one hundred or so learned black coats, ex CJ ShiraniB had a zero balance in her account at the time of declaration of her asset and therefore she has committed no offence.

      Her back coated lawyers do not say however that for three years, not only she operated the concerned bank account but withdrew its cash to make the account has a zero balance on the date that she made her asset declarations. Witch-hunt eh.

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      What are the women’s groups doing? this is victimization of women – Sarath Silva and Mohan Peris are far more corrupt that she and the women’s NGOS are sleeping on the job!

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      Yea, you got it first hand, as this woman Shirani, came to SC with no experience in any court (you need 15 years experience to become a District Judge) or AG dept’s but directly from Law Faculty, Political appointment, so naturally , corrupt guys vs corrupt guys or dogs vs dogs, who cares who wins, No Body.

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        John,The most liberal court system operates in the west. In the US judges are appointed direct from the University.

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    All these people make Sri Lanka the laughing stock of the world. Shirani B was appointed Chief Justice by MR although she was an academic and had never been a judge. UNP and others protested that MR would control her and have his dirty work done. After she fell out with MR she suddenly becomes the darling of the UNP. Bloody typical of the accursed hypocritical politicians who have ruined the nation.
    I have no sympathy for Shirani B or any of the others involved. All are timeserving power hungry scoundrels.

    • 0
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      Puswella,
      She was appointed CJ by President Kumaratunge in 1996.
      She had high academic credentials and knowledge of the law and was hence chosen.
      Her persecution began when the Supreme Court presided by her held the Divineguma Bill ultra vires according to the constitution.

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        NSB chairman, ShiraniB’s husband Kariyawasam bought eight million shares of The Finance Company at 65 per cent above the market price for NSB in late April 2012. UNP National List MP, Harssha de Silva revealed the fraudulent transaction on April 29, 2012. MP, Silva said proper investigation into the NSB-TFC deal wasn’t possible because Kariyawasam’s wife is the Chief Justice, and therefore he said CJ Shirani should resign. UNP even demanded the impeachment of CJ.

        President Rajapaksa cancelled NSB-TFC transaction and Kariyawasam was asked to resign and he resigned in the middle of May, 2012. From then on CJ ShiraniB and the government honeymoon started to go sour only after that.

        All cases against “Divineguma Bill” came up after August 2012. Even CPA filed their case against “Divineguma Bill” only in mid August. That is few months after Kariyawasam was asked to resign and when some legal action against him started to take shape. It is in October the Divi Neguma Bill was send to SC to get its approval. And ShiraniB’s SC had placed strictures to the bill. We all know what happened to her after that.

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        Justice, I think you are mistaken. She was appointed to the Supreme Court by CBK in 1996. After that she served as Acting CJ on several occasions (10 I think). She was made Chief Justice by MR in 2011 after Asoka de Silva retired.

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        Justice, I think you are mistaken. She was appointed to the Supreme Court by CBK in 1996 and was Acting CJ for a few times (10 I think).
        MR appointed her CJ in May 2011 after Asoka de Silva retired.

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    What the attorney general is doing here. Why he cannot take over this matter and enter nolle prosequ.

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    Dear Patriot your comments are very nice for country like England. We are in Banana republic. How can I go to appeal and supreme court? Because this garage owner by using thugs scared everybody including me and my family members in this area and even forcibly collected letters from residents by scaring at nights. Even Police officers are getting loans from this garage owner and fully protecting him and his garage. Now residents around this garage are selling their houses for thugs and leaving whole area. See practical aspects of this. All these problems because of very corruptible nature of magistrates. Somebody must educate these magistrates about new environment law and CEA, PHI scientific reports and Municiple council’s TAs report on illegal construction. TAs also collecting monthly money from these illegal garages.

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    Not a Joke, this is how business is conducted in this corrupt lawless Banana republic with Jungle Law. As we all know this Republic only serve and protect the CRIMINALS.

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    Mr.Fedrick I feel sorry about you and the residents around this types of illegal garages operate in highly residential areas under full protection of Police, TOs in MCs, politicians and thugs. As I know due these garages cancer , bad headache, skin diseases and any other complicated health problems are happening. Citizens never ever go to garages which operate after 5.00pm and before 8.00am and weekend and holidays and especially in high residential areas. God bless for your country cancer and other health problemn. Magistrate are anyway corruptive like Police and Technical Officers and PHIs in MCs. Even UDA is a very corruptive place and protect all illegal dwelling for money.

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