29 September, 2020

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Justice Priyantha Jayawardena Withdraws From Sarath Silva Contempt Of Court Case Citing “Personal Reasons”

Supreme Court Justice Priyantha Jayawardena today stepped down from the bench hearing the contempt of court case against former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva citing “personal reasons.”

Justice Priyantha Jayawardena

The case was taken up today before a three-judge bench comprising Jayawardena, Murdu Fernando and Gamini Amarasekera.

As a result of Jayawardena withdrawal, the case against the former Chief Justice was postponed to May 08.

Jayawardena was one of three judges who issued an interim order against President Maithripala Sirisena unlawful Gazette notification to dissolve Parliament on November 09 violating the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. He was also a member of the seven-member bench which ruled stating the President’s decision to prematurely dissolve Parliament was unconstitutional.

When the former Chief Justice appeared before the Supreme Court this morning, he attempted to take a seat in one of the chairs allocated for lawyers. Upul Jayasuriya PC appearing on behalf of petitioners raised objections to the move.

Three professors, Chandraguptha Thenuwara, Cyril Hewawaduge and Prishantha Gunawardena have filed the petition against Silva claiming that the remarks made by former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva during a protest rally in Maradana last year were in contempt of court.

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Latest comments

  • 15
    0

    Doesn’t the Chief Justice talk to these Judges before appointing them? This appears to be a delaying tactic of some judges. Sri Lanka may hold the world record for delaying cases by judges.

    • 7
      1

      Absolutely, dear Buddhist.
      .
      It is said that the Chief Justice is an excellent man. However, at the time he was appointed it was said that he would be reaching the retirement age of 65 in February 2019. Well, we’re a week into that period, but there’s still no talk of when he is to retire.
      .
      However, there was one of his classmates in school who was positive that he was born only in May – the year must have been 1954. Some memory would require!
      .
      More seriously, can the country know the position, please? This is his Wikipedia entry:
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nalin_Perera
      .
      “Born: February 1954” is what it says.

    • 3
      1

      Exactly, why do they wait until the case is called and announce they want to withdraw.

  • 4
    5

    When the big offenders like Rajapakses, Mahendrans and some others are roaming freely, why our judiciary wastes time on minor matters?

    • 8
      1

      SKM
      When an ex CJ is charged for contempt of court by three respected academics it is not a minor matter.

      The said judge should have decided if he was serious to inform the CJ, about his personal reasons which he would have been well aware of, when he was going to be appointed by the CJ.

      • 3
        0

        Uthungan

        Do you seriously expect in this case or any other case justice will be done? Of course not however the judiciary doesn’t even pretend that justice is seen to be done.

        I was told when the demerger of North East Provincial Council case was brought by two born public racists and their respective parties, Achchige Patali Champika Ranawaka and Somawansa Amarasinghe, CJ Sarath just heard only the submission for demerger and the plaintiff was not allowed to make his case.

        • 0
          0

          Are you joking?
          No Certainly not.
          Come May and it will be time for the CJ to again adjourn saying that he is retiring.
          Fake former CJ Sarath Silva will continue to draw his fat pension which tax payers will contribute.

    • 1
      0

      SKM: are Penthouse Ravi and Ranil saints.

    • 1
      0

      Every Major offence becomes a minor offence when committed by VIP’s

  • 9
    0

    On the way home, this shameless man, single handedly, brought down the judiciary and the politics of this country to the gutters – because his conraversial ruling, the MP’s are moving from party to party like monkeys, and also his ruling on the Helping Hambantota car pave the way for MR to become President.

  • 10
    1

    Judicial system in SL needs a major review on how it could function more effectively and efficiently. It has been the practice so far the Ruling Regime placing undue pressure on the judges to get the decisions they want (like Sentencing Mr Sarath Fonseka in serving a jail sentence and Sarath Silva the former CJ finding MR innocent of Tsunami Fund misappropriation).
    There is also a prolonged delay in delivering Justice.
    These all shows that we are truly a banana Republic.

  • 1
    1

    Sarath Silva’s past behaviour, past was past.
    Why did Justice Priyantha Jayawardene withdraw from the hearing is the question in issue.
    Did PJ get cold feet to face Sarath Silva on account of any previous blunder he made of Parliament dissolution decision?

  • 2
    2

    Wonder who picks the Tab of those Three Professor’s Legal Costs ?.

    I thought the AG is supposed to keep a watch on those ” Contempting” our Mahavamsa Jusges and their Courts…
    .

  • 1
    0

    The judicial system of Sri Lanka needs radical structural reform same as we need to seperate law makers and ecucutives as to indepent groups. As mentioned in this articel high profile cases are delayed by multiple reasons including personal grounds of judges that make the naton at shame. The shamefull realities is spread through out the judiciary is a bitter truth. I heared last week some where in a Puttalam area court with regard to a Nidaana digging case, the lawyer promised the accused to bailout and charged a fee of 300,000 rupees while the lawyer knows very well the bailout for such case is not possible.

    Unfortuantely in Sri Lanka we dont have forum for litigants to claim back the day light exploitation by cheating them by lawyers.

  • 1
    0

    The judicial system of Sri Lanka needs radical structural reform same as we need to separate lawmakers and executives as to independent groups. As mentioned in this article high profile cases are delayed by multiple reasons including personal grounds of judges that make the nation at shame. The shameful realities are spread throughout the judiciary is a bitter truth. I heard last week somewhere in a Puttalam area court with regard to a Nidaana digging case, the lawyer promised the accused to bailout and charged a fee of 300,000 rupees while the lawyer knows very well the bailout for such case is not possible.

    Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka, we don’t have a forum for litigants to claim back the daylight exploitation by cheating them by lawyers.

  • 1
    0

    //Judicial system in SL needs a major review on how it could function more effectively and efficiently. // Naman

    I fully agree with the above statement.

    In the judgment of the supreme court S.C.Appeal 50/08, the judge himself says as follows.

    “It is a highly technical matter which has delayed the dispensation of justice in this case regarding a matter which needed quick disposal.”

    “Very often the dealing of such technicalities become only an academic exercise with which the litigants would not be interested. The delay in dispensation of justice can be minimized if parties are discouraged from taking up technical objections which takes up valuable judicial time. What is important for litigants would be their aspiration to get justice from courts on merits rather than on technicalities. As has often been quoted it must be remembered that Courts of law are Courts of justice and not academies of law.”

    By these statements, the honorable judge shows his frustration on the part of lawyers who take up cases for reasons other than meeting as litigants aspirations of justice.

    By this, it is clear that the immunity lawyers have as attorneys let them not only fool the litigants but also the supreme court of the country.

    So who is going to ring the bell to reform the judicial sector? It’s a trillion dollar question.

  • 1
    0

    Mate Naman, so you agree that our judicial system cannot be fair and neutral? It can easily be swayed by politics, religious and racial bias and various other influences. The former CJ Srath is a huge disgrace to the entire system. He was caught groping his junior married woman on the road side and caught by a policeman and finally the poor cop was punished. This same fellow confessed that he made a mistake in judgement in MR’s Tsunami loot. He had the audacity to say he made a mistake based on personality. The same fellow behaved as a joker and made unwarranted comments disgracing his CJ position. Now this joker being a defendant had gone and sat on lawyers chair and this is what he knows about judiciary.

    As long as such a system exists there is no chance for any progress.
    Not only he should be found guilty of contempt but even his law license ought to be cancelled.

  • 1
    1

    Almost all judges just like government high officials are corrupt. That’s the bottom line. So how can SL progress??

  • 4
    0

    He worked with Sarath Silva in the Basil campaign . Now he wants to appear whiter than white ! All these chaps have got dirtied by going behind politicians.Basil got him appointed to Supreme court . He was not deserving. Did he write a judgement in the dissolution case ? Can he ?

  • 1
    0

    This shameless man must be convicted not only for Contempt of Court but for willfully giving a wrong judgement (on his own admission)!!

  • 2
    0

    In which other part of the world has an EX:CJ BEEN CHARGED FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT, in recent times?
    Elmore Perera was arbitrarily charged with contempt of court, a couple of years ago,and was even barred from practicing as a Lawyer by this very same Sarath.N.Silva when he was CJ. Elmore must be laughing his sides out!
    Is Sarath.N.Silva on his way home[ gedera yana…] or on his way out?

  • 1
    0

    Sri lanka has seen a number of judges withdrawing from cases citing personal reasons. Must be a world record.
    Most cases they claim they know the accused

    A judge must be able to set aside friendships and handle a case
    If unable- they should resign

  • 2
    0

    Lankan judges withdrawing from cases for ‘personal reasons’ used to be rare, but is no longer so. Almost all cases involve important people.
    We now have a contempt case against Sarath N Silva, retired CJ SL. If several judges recuse and if the defence object to those who do not, will the case get dismissed?
    A very dangerous precedent is on the card.
    .
    The article mentions that Sarath N Silva had tried to occupy a seat reserved for lawyers.
    What will the courts do if Sarath tries to occupy the judges chair?
    Remember in the recent Parliament fracas Arundika Fernando forcibly occupied the Speaker’s chair?
    No action taken.

  • 1
    1

    Each country has its own sense and set of values. In Singapore, a speaker had to step down, even leave the membership of the political party for infidelity and he has no chance whatsoever to get into politics. A member of the opposition too was sacked from the party and consequently lost his seat for not responding properly to allegations of infidelity. In Sri Lanka, although the first Speaker under the Donoughmore Constitution was thrown to prison as result of non-payment of compensation to the petitioner a divorce case where he was a co-respondent, he was fit enough to be elected as the first speaker under the Soulbury Constitution. We are talking of brainy but maverick individuals who adorned the exalted position of CJ. His escapades are well known. In Singapore, even former judges keep their decorum and would not steer themselves into controversy. We all know what manipulation that was done to prevent a proper case being heard naming the guy as a co-respondent in a divorce case. All in all the man is in a position to say anything and get away as “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others”. It is high time for us to decide once and for all as to whether people in high positions should be mandated to have high standards of personal conduct. The consequence is we will find “nice fellows” with a “mental disorder” (such as trying to own every good looking member of fair sex) treating women like a piece of furniture and talk out of turn.

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