20 August, 2017

Full Text Of The Supreme Court Request To The Parliamentary Select Committee

By Colombo Telegraph

The Supreme Court yesterday made a request to the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to inquire into the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice to defer its proceedings until the Supreme Court makes a determination on the constitutionality of Standing Order 78A which has been framed under Article 107 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices Gamini Amaratunga, K. Sripavan and Priyasath Dep stated that the request was being made in the background of the mutual respect that exists between the Parliament and the judiciary. The Court directed the Court of Appeal to notice the respondents to file their written submissions. After the respondents file their submissions, the petitioners and the Attorney General could file their submissions. The case will be called before the Supreme Court on 28 November to fix dates for argument.

The Select Committee Head - Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa

The Supreme Court referred to the good relations that should exist between the two branches of the government and stated: ..this Court whilst reiterating that there has to be mutual respect and understanding founded upon the rule of law between Parliament and the Judiciary for the smooth functioning of both the institutions, wishes to recommend to the members of the Select Committee of Parliament that it is prudent to defer the inquiry to be held against the Hon. the Chief Justice until this Court makes its determination on the question of law referred to by the Court of Appeal. The desirability and paramount importance of acceding to the suggestions made by this Court would be based on mutual respect and trust and as something essential for the safe guarding of the rule of law and the interest of all persons concerned and ensuring that justice is not only done but is manifestly and undoubtedly seen to be done.

Read the full text here

Related stories;

Full Text: Dr Jayampathy Wickramaratne’s Petition Against The Impeachment Of The CJ

Full Text: Chandra Jayaratne’s Petition Against The Impeachment Of The CJ

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Latest comments

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    The words which stand out in the order are ‘at this stage’. As has been noted the Court has been cautious and made a ‘request’, probably hoping that the PSC would extend it the courtesy of observing it out of respect and conforming to the principles of comity. The PSC did not accord any respect to the Court’s order.

    There is nothing to prevent the petitioner to move the Supreme Court and ask for an ‘order’. The AG has argued that it is only the Court of Appeal that could give interim relief. If the matter was before the SC and the urgency of the circumstances was crying out for an order, the Court cannot be expected to fold its arm and say that parties had to go to the Court of Appeal for an order.

    Why was the CJ required to give an oath even before she began her evidence? It seems she has indicated that she would give truthful evidence if she were to give evidence.

    The PSC’s request to give an undertaking not to discuss the proceedings elsewhere has no basis in law. The Standing Orders cannot over ride the constitutional right of the individual’s right of free speech and the public’s right to know. Justice in Sri Lanka has to be done in the open and the attempt by the PSC to erect a cloak of secrecy over its proceedings is totally wrong.

    There was no need for Counsel for the CJ to give an undertaking to abide by standing orders when the legality of the standing order is being questioned. if the PSC is illegally constituted then the standing orders cannot apply to its ‘proceedings’.

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    The barefoot Judges of the PSC are now having a time conducting a judicial trial without knowing even the basic nuances of the legal system.

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    Should we not list the qualifications of each of the panel members especially from the govt? Most will have SSKH (Medamulana), (Sereppu Suppu Karana Haddo) with first class honours.!

    DO THEY COMPREHEND WHAT IT IS TO DISHONOR A SUPREME COURT REQUEST??

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      This bugger Anura Priyadarshana Yapa has got cold feet and had admitted to Nawaloka to avoid presiding the PSC. Then MR has got him on line and had blasted him, that he had to get himself discharged and attend the PSC. What spineless buggers to sit on PSC?

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        You are absolutely right. This Yapa bugger pretended that he had dengue and hid himself in “DEN-GOO” (Navaloka Hospital)until Medamulana Meeharaka gave him the marching orders!

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    The Standing Order 78A has been framed without proper judicial review of Article 4 of the Constitution. This glaring error should have been rectified long ago. Therefore, the PSC that has been set up under the Standing Order 78A is unconstitutional. Standing orders, after all are not part of the Constitution.The Constitutional law is supreme and it should prevail in all circumstances. If there is any Constitutional provision that militates against democratic governance, it should be suitably amended or repealed or if there is any ambiguity, the Supreme Court give an interpretation. That is a different matter. Whether you like it or not or whether it suits your purpose or not, the Constitutional provisions should be upheld.MPs have have taken a solemn oath to uphold the Constitution Parliament has no right to violate the Constitution under any circumstances! Parliament is not the fount of judicial power. Sovereignty lies with the people. So is the judicial power as well as the legislative and executive powers. Parliament derives the judicial power from the people which it should exercise through the law courts. The Constitution clearly describes the the instances where the Parliament can directly exercise the judicial power vested with it by the people.

    Any ordinary person with some common sense can understand that the attempt to impeach the Chief Justice is a vindictive measure which militates against natural justice and violates the supreme law of the country. Let us hope that the judiciary will not let down the people at this grave hour! Hats off civic-minded persons who fearlessly filed petitions challenging the constitutionality of the PSC appointed to try the Chief Justice!

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