28 September, 2020

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Flawed 19A Allows ‘Rajapaksa Judges’ To Continue

By Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

19A: Section 54 is flawed and violates the sovereignty in the people

Transitional Provision (Section 54) in the proposed 19th Amendment provides that every person holding office on the day preceding the date on which it becomes law, as the Chairman or a member of the (a) Parliamentary Council (b) Public Services Commission (c) National Police Commission (d) Human Rights Commission (e) Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption; or (f) Finance Commission, shall cease to hold such office with effect from the date on which the 19th amendment becomes law. Apparently this move has been adopted by the Sirisena Administration for a reason, that the persons holding such offices referred to above indeed is a hindrance to installing of the Rule of Law and Good Governance.

However, the said Transitional provision provides that every person holding office as (a) the Chief Justice (b) Judges of the Supreme Court (c) the President of the Court of Appeal (d) Judges of the Court of Appeal shall continue to hold such offices and shall, continue to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of that office, under the same terms and conditions.

In the light of certain glaring flawed decision makings by the Supreme Court in the recent past under the de facto Chief Justice, Mohan Pieris, causing tremendous damage to the trust and confidence placed in the Judiciary by the people, any concerned citizen may ask whether the Judges holding the office in the Supreme Court should be allowed continue to hold office or whether all the judges too shall ceased to hold office, may be with an option to reappoint honorable judges.

Just before the Presidential election, people of Sri Lanka witnessed as to how submissively the Judges in the Supreme Court, responded to the two questions referred to the Supreme Court by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who sought the Court’s opinion to contest for a third term. The Supreme Court, de facto Chief Justice, Mr Mohan Peiris P.C., with all other Justices agreeing, expressed it’s opinion in very subservient tone and the Court declared that the President Rajapaksa should seek election for re-election for a further term. It is important to note that the said opinion was declared on a private matter only affecting the President Rajapaksa, having denied the citizens any opportunity to express their views on the matter referred to the Court by the President. The concluding paragraph of the said opinion was recorded in the following words.

Thus Your Excellency shall exercise your right and power vested in you by virtue of Article 31 (3A) (a) (i) of the Constitution and seek re-election for a further term and there exists no impediment for Your Excellency to exercise the right and powers accorded to you under the Constitution to offer yourself for a further term’.

In the light of the provisions of Article 105 of the Constitution, which states inter alia that the Administration of Justice ‘which protect, vindicate and enforce the rights of the people’ shall primarily be the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Sri Lanka, in my view, any right thinking citizen of this country is entitled to make a case that the performance of judicial duty in this manner is inappropriate, as such conduct tantamount to compromising of the people’s judicial power the Judges exercise on trust and therefore none of the judges who had ratified De facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris’s Opinion is deserved to occupy the office as Judges in the Supreme Court.

Therefore, in my forthright view, any citizen of Sri Lanka is entitled to raise their concerns that, unless the transitional provision in the 19th amendment bill (Section 54) is duly amended to include every Judge holding office in the Supreme Court who had ratified the said opinion expressed by the de facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, to seize to hold office, together with other judges appointed to the Superior Court System by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, purely according to his whims and fancies, the 19th Amendment Bill in its current form is undesirable as it has failed to address the will and desire of the people of this country for a vibrant and independent judiciary.

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Latest comments

  • 2
    13

    Then President BASL Mr Jayasuriya when the new President of the Court of Appeal Malalgoda J, appointed from the Attorney General’s Dept, said that he was someone who appointed an Additional Solicitor General only in March last year.

    UPUL Jayasuriya said that “The most senior Judge in the Court of Appeal was an Additional Solicitor General in 2005. He was appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal in 2007. He sat on the Divisional Bench and issued the writ quashing the proceedings of the Parliament Select Committee (on the impeachment of Chief Justice 43 Shirani Bandaranayake). He has been deprived of his rightful place as the President of the Court of Appeal,” Mr Jayasuriya charged.

    The BAL questioned the thinking behind these appointments. “What does the Executive want? A subdued Judiciary! A Judiciary that makes orders on the will and desires of the Executive? If that be the case, you don’t need a Judiciary. You can rule with Executive order,” he said.

    Want went wrong with the so-called strong stand taken against these inappropriate appointments by this pseudo professional body of black coats.

  • 4
    12

    Why the hell should parliamentarians interfere with judicial process? Either let JSC or an Authoritative body be created to manage the affairs of the Judicial process of appointments and audits of its operations based on the merits of the performance. Then the need for such garbage acts of parliament will not be necessary. All the regulations interfering with the separation of powers are infringements of the sovereignty of the people. This shows that lawyers are not suitable to be politicians.

  • 13
    2

    Jayasuriya and his team of Black Coats have joined the Jokers…..
    Very soon CBK will come and say what was stated then was too a joke.

  • 4
    11

    It is not only the majority Politicians who have been corrupt but a good number of Public Servants, from Judges to Accountants to Doctors to Sports bodies. For anyone to establish honesty will have to get rid of all these individuals not only the replacement of the Corrupt Politicians. Do we have sufficient replacements in society to fill up the vacuum created? Looks like we may have to import foreigners as Judges and Peter Hill type administrators to run Public services, because every other individual in this society is corrupt.

  • 5
    13

    This country will turn out to produce honest people the day this society is weaned out from Religion. Look around, the whole country is immersed in Religion which is a farce to cover the nudity of Corruption and Crime. The society flaunts being highly Religious where the sects display their faiths turning the vehicles they own to display which Religion each belongs to. The Clergy of all Religions are corrupt equally as the society. Yet there is crime and violence at unprecedented levels with all the pouring of Religion down the throats of the young. Religion has become a mockery where certain individuals are fanning public interest for their own agendas to be met. It is comic to see on Sundays little children being carted to places of worship for Sunday school, fearing they will exit if not. The Clergy imposes on the Parents and the Parents impose on the young. It is a never ending cycle. It is about time Religion is taken off the School Curriculum and allow the people to decide, as Religion is essentially a personal matter. The State although in the Constitution guards and protect the right of one to believe in whatever faith, has no right to push it down on the whole society who will not want to, by making it compulsory in school. I have no particular belief of any Religion and so my family. But I can assure none of them are criminals or frauds but are Honest useful citizens. Whom are we trying to bluff?

    • 1
      5

      Well said. Religion is needed because human beings need to have faith for physiological reasons. Instead of sticking to individual religions, better teach Religion as a subject covering all four religions together. Similarly all three languages under National Language as a subject. Use mothers tongue to teach other subjects. It is with such changes that people of some education help the country to survive the present chaos.

      Bar Association should device a mechanism to honor judges who deliver best judgements and high light judges who are very poor in their judgements. I have seen a magistrate who judged not by the contents of the case but from who appeared for prosecution. Such are still living off salaries paid by tax payers.

  • 1
    13

    Victor Ivon challenged in public (in Ravaya) that NAVAS, appointed as a Judge to the Court of Appeal as a crook with lot of Bribery Allegations.

  • 1
    12

    Upul Jayasuriya, then President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka on the parachuted SC judge Priyantha Jayawardena;

    ”Since 2000 you have been at the private Bar. You have been a visiting Lecture at the University of Moratuwa. You have been a consultant to Sri Lanka Insurance and several government institutes. You have also been appointed a Member on several Government statutory boards. It is with this environment, that your Lordship has been appointed to the Supreme Court from the Private Bar.”

    BASL said that on these improper appointments the blame couldn’t be attributed only to the Executive President Rajapakse.

    The persons who do not fall within the time tested and respected criteria, cringe and scrounge brazenly at the feet of the Executive, seeking such appointment whose lame excuse thereafter is that the Executive invitation can not be turned down; are equally guilty of the transgression against the society. We the Legal Profession and the civil Society and those of us entrusted with that public trust, are also to blame for it.
    ‘If the Executive persists in acting in breach of these salutary principles it would be an invitation, persuasion or perversion to the mind of the Judges to cast aside their Judicial Independence and succumb to the invidious pressures of the Executive. Is that what is in the mind of the Executive – to break the backbone of Judicial Independence?

    “The Bar can not endorse any view contrary to these time honoured principles that are being flagrantly violated in recent times. The Bar cannot and shall not condone such sullied attempts to desecrate the Temple of Justice, detrimental to the hope and expectations of not only the Judiciary not only the official and the un -official Bar but the country at large. Exercise of such arbitrary powers and practices shall be opposed at any cost and continue to be opposed at any price until sanity prevails”.

    Now the very same BASL condones these improper appointments and demands people to follow them.

  • 0
    12

    BASL, deadership,

    What happened to you since then and where are you now.

    The truth is that from the day one you letdown and mislead the people and now observes utter silence

  • 2
    11

    Editor CT,

    Please publish the Mohan PEIRIS’s opinion on the questions referred to by MR or let the readers know how to have access to it.

    I believe that people have a right to know about the names of Judges who betrayed the people’s trust by simply behaving like a flock of sheeps and sighed Mohan Peiris’s opinion.

  • 1
    11

    Thank you Editor,

    It is sad to note that all the Judges, including Sripavan J, with no hesitation whatsoever, has betrayed the trust placed in the Supreme Court by the People by signing Mohan Peiris’s ‘greatest work’ performed for his master MR.

    How come MY3 or RW now force people to accept these people and have confidence in them as Judges in the SC.

    Hope that sensible MPs if any in the Parliament would take this matter up.

  • 2
    11

    The entire Supreme Court should be reconstituted. New Judges should be appointed with repute. So with the Police and the Forces to put this country right.

  • 1
    8

    Those who benefit from the irregular court system are the black-coats and nobody else.

    They don’t want to see any one disturbing the current setup as it serves and suits their purposes.

    The black-coats cannot survive without laws delays. In short what they talked all this time is for their own private benefit and not for the betterment of those who suffer in their hands.

    • 2
      5

      This is a reason why a change for the better is a difficult task. Black coats have become a bunch of parasites.

  • 0
    5

    SIRISENA promised and given a clear mandate by the people to restore the Rule of Law.

    He should know Removing Mohan PEIRIS will not help restoring Rule of Law in this country. He must understand that MP’s and MR’s henchmen appointed to the Supreme Court are still Occupying office as Judges. All citizens know that These henchmen have openly violated confidence placed in Judiciary by the people.

    Only option is to reconstitute the Judiciary removing MARAs men alltogether with all other commissioners arbitrarily appointed to various other commissions.

  • 1
    5

    Some say people should sympathise with Sripavan and the rest, except Rajapakse men, who voluntarily signed Mohan Peiris’s rubbish Opinion. They argue that these ‘good judges’ signed it because they were coerced to do by Mohan Peiris and Mahinda Rajapakse.

    Can anyone accept this as an excuse for violation of the integrity of the justice system by these men?

    If these people have iota of integrity this is along good enough for them to resign from office without ridiculing the people’s judicial power.

  • 0
    5

    I think better word is TICKS.

    On there own they are helpless. They always need a mode to move around. And cannot survive without sucking blood of others beings.

    This what exactly black coats do in this country. Their life totally depend on litigants exploited by them. They enjoy every luxury in life holidays etc all over the world with poor man’s money.

  • 0
    5

    It is good to know that there are at least a handful of people in Sri Lanka who have guts to stand against these conceited idiots who has taken law of the land to their hands. Suffice to say that the amendment is nothing but otiose and patronsing. How could one violate such apparent established fundamental rights of people. All the big giants in the world like USA and UK has left their leaders with minimum powers over the years as the power is dispersed leaving a little margin for an eccentric leader to abuse.

  • 0
    0

    We want to get rid of all the judges who licked the back of President Rajapaksa,

    Get rid of the superior courts, you have undermined the justice system before the President like a flock of sheep,

    None of you have any right what so ever to occupy the office in the superior courts as judges, since the people completely lost their confidence in you.

  • 0
    0

    The damage this has caused is irretrievable!

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