By Colombo Telegraph –
“It may be relevant to note that after 6.5.2010 case No.262/2010 was taken up before the former Chief Justice Hon. Justice Asoka de Silva. The former Chief Justice Hon, Justice Asoka de Silva himself purchased a housing unit at trillium residencies demonstrating that there was no impediment to purchase such a housing unit.” says Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.
Responding to the charge number one in the impeachment motion her lawyers made above remarks.
Below is the charge number one and the response;
PURPORTED CHARGE 1
Note: English translation of the purported charges, were obtained from the Parliament’s website at www.parliament.lk
“1. Whereas by purchasing, in the names of two individuals, i.e. Renuka Niranjali Bandaranayake and Kapila Ranjan Karunaratne using special power of attorney licence bearing No. 823 of Public Notary K.B. Aroshi Perera that was given by Renuka Niranjali Bandaranayake and Kapila Ranjan Karunaratne residing at No. 127, Ejina Street, Mount Hawthorn, Western Australia, 6016, Australia, the house bearing No. 2C/F2/P4 and assessment No. 153/1-2/4 from the housing scheme located at No. 153, Elvitigala Mawatha, Colombo 08 belonging to the company that was known as Ceylinco Housing and Property Company and City Housing and Real Estate Company Limited and Ceylinco Condominium Limited and is currently known as Trillium Residencies which is referred in the list of property in the case of fundamental rights application No. 262/2009, having removed another bench of the Supreme Court which was hearing the fundamental rights application cases bearing Nos. 262/2009, 191/2009 and 317/2009 filed respectively in the Supreme Court against Ceylinco Sri Ram Capital Management, Golden Key Credit Card Company and Finance and Guarantee Company Limited belonging to the Ceylinco Group of Companies and taking up further hearing of the aforesaid cases under her court and serving as the presiding judge of the benches hearing the said cases”
1. The crux of the charge is that our client wrongfully took over the hearing of a case so that she could purchase using a power of attorney a housing unit in the Trillium Residencies in the name of her sister and her sister’s husband.
2. The allegation is totally baseless and groundless.
3. Our client had a special power of attorney from her sister and her brother in law because her sister and sister’s husband were the purchasers.
4. The housing unit was not purchased by our client in the name of her sister and her brother in law. It was in fact and in truth purchased by her sister and her sister’s husband.
5. The total purchase consideration was remitted by our client’s sister and her brother in law as more fully set out hereinafter [vide paragraphs under charge 3 below].
Thus it is clear that our client’s sister and brother in law provided the total consideration. Our client did not provide a cent of the purchase consideration.
Thus the premises was in fact bought by our client’s sister and her brother in law and not purchased in the names of our client’s sister and brother in law.
Our client’s sister or brother in law received no benefit whatever by the case being called or heard before our client.
We may mention that our client and her sister are the only children of that family and our client had been looking after her sister’s interest in Sri Lanka for the last 22 years whilst her sister was living in Australia; she held their general power of attorney from about 1990 when they left Sri Lanka.
The proceedings of 6.5.2010:-
The Supreme court (consisting of Hon. Justice Thilakawardene, Hon. Justice Sripavan and Hon. Justice Imam) made inter alia the following order on 6.5.2010:-
“ …The properties to be disposed would be:-
(1) pioneer tower (head office building)
(2) trillium residencies (sale of housing units)
(3) celestial residencies…”
In the circumstances there was no restriction for the sale of any of the housing units of Trillium from 6.5.2010.
In the circumstances from 6.5.2010 the housing units in Trillium residencies were in effect not a property in the list of properties in case 262-2009 that could not be alienated.
Our client became chief Justice on or about 18.5.2011, which is one year after the above order of the Supreme Court.
In the circumstances our client did not in any way participate in the order in which housing units in trillium residencies was permitted to be sold.
Cases bearing numbers 262-09, 191-09 and 317-09 referred to in the charge were meant to be taken up together. On 23.8.2011 a motion was filed asking that the matter be heard by a bench of 5 judges. This motion was submitted to our client, who made order that the motion be supported before the bench which sat on 29.6.2011, which was Hon. Justice Thilakawardene, Justice Ekanayake and Dep P.C J.
In the circumstances it is incorrect to allege that our client wrongfully took over the case.
It may be relevant to note that after 6.5.2010 case No.262/2010 was taken up before the former Chief Justice Hon. Justice Asoka de Silva. The former Chief Justice Hon, Justice Asoka de Silva himself purchased a housing unit at trillium residencies demonstrating that there was no impediment to purchase such a housing unit.
In summary then,
(1) the sale /purchase of housing units of trillium residencies was permitted by order of the SC dated 6.5.2010 (Supreme Court bench consisting of Hon. Justice Thilakawardene, Hon. Justice Sripavan and Hon. Justice Imam);
(2) there was no restriction in the sale of housing units of Trillium Residences after 6.5.2010
(3) our client became Chief Justice on or about 18.5.2011;
(4) the case was mentioned before our client for the first time on 13.10.2011;
(5) there was nothing wrong in the manner in which the case came before our client;
(5) the properties were purchased by our client’s sister and brother in law and not by our client; and
(6) our client’s sister and brother in law did not receive any benefit whatsoever by our client hearing the case.
Read the full response here