In a startling revelation, the De Facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris and Chairman of Seylan Bank Nihal Jayamanne had drafted the two question posed by Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Supreme Court for its opinion, the Colombo Telegraph learns.
Pieris and Jayamanne are close confidantes of the President with Pieris being the former Chairman of Seylan Bank prior to his controversial appointment as Chief Justice.
However, the fact that Pieris a sitting judge of the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of the country had drafted the questions together with his colleagues is an unprecedented move never before witnessed in the history of any judiciary around the world.
The Supreme Courts duty is to act independently when such opinion is sough and many say that the independence was compromised upon appointment of Pieris as Chief Justice.
The seven judge bench are therefore most certain to provide an opinion favourable to the incumbent as expected.
Earlier, on Monday Attorney General Yuhanjan Gunathilake was called in to the chambers of Mohan Pieris and briefed on the fact that the opinion of the Supreme Court was sought by the President.
Thereafter the Bar Association was notified yesterday that they should provide a written submission on the two questions posed by the President, tomorrow ( Friday).
The Supreme Court is to provide its opinion on Monday the 10th of November to the President.
The constitutional conundrum in the seeking of the opinion is such that no person could thereafter file objections or file an election petition before the Supreme Court regarding the matter.
The Supreme Court comprises 11 Judges out of which Saleem Marsoof is set to retire in December. 7 judges are currently on the bench which provides the opinion to the President and only three judges are thereafter left to hear a an objection or election petition against the move by the President.
In normal circumstances a quorum of five judges are required to hear such an application, and in any event the three judges would not go against the opinion of the 7 judge bench. In the event they do, it would be invalid as a 7 Judge bench had already most likely provided an opinion favourable to the incumbent thereby barring any move to challenge the legality of the Presidents move to call for an election.
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