16 November, 2018

Blog

Mohan Pieris Fiasco: Bar Association Should Be Sensible

By Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

Nagananda Kodituwakku

I saw some video clips published today about the campaign launched by the Bar Association, calling immediate resignation of Mr Mohan Pieris from the office of the Chief Justice.

I sincerely feel that I too should have been in Colombo right now at this crucial time. But I had to leave Colombo after I took a firm stand in the case that I filed in the Court of Appeal recently challenging President Rajapaksa’s nominations for a third term, stating that the opinion expressed by Mr Mohan Pieris on the two questions referred to him by the President is not worth the paper it was written.

I took that firm stand, because Mr Mohan Pieris is not entitled under the law to hold the office of the Chief Justice at all. Therefore any decision made by him, as the person occupying the office of the CJ has no legal effect and ab initio void. Further I took a stand that he should be charged for PERJURY for making a FALSE statement under oath, as he had stated that he would honour and respect the Rule of Law, whereas by accepting the appointment itself without a vacancy in the office, he had violated the Rule of Law.
The Stand taken by the Bar Association about his unlawful occupation of the office is absolutely correct.

De facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris

De facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris

¨ On 1st Jan 2013 the Supreme Court pronounced that the impeachment process adopted by the Parliament was completely unlawful.

¨ Then on 07th Jan 2013 the Court of Appeal quashed the impeachment findings of the Parliament altogether.

¨ Yet, on 15th Jan 2013 President Rajapaksa, completely undermining the people’s judicial power, unlawfully appointed Mr Mohan Pieris to the Office of the Chief Justice.

On that fateful day all lawyers practicing in the superior Courts witnessed how the legally appointed the CJ Dr Shirani B was prevented from reporting for duty. In fact, our cars were searched by the Special Police Task Force to make sure that the Chief Justice SB would not attend the Court.

In this background no person with common sense would understand why the Bar Association demands Mr Mohan Pieris’s resignation when he is occupying the office unlawfully. This does not make any sense at all.

Therefore, what the Bar Association should do right now is to offer him with a reciprocal treatment and to make way for the lawfully appointed Chief Justice to resume duties, without entangling the government in this all-important issue.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 18
    3

    Agreed… The heading was bit misleading to the content though :) I thought the article was about another facet of the issue

    • 14
      18

      The lawyers wanting to appoint their favourite as CJ is worse corruption than any thing MR is alleged to have done.

      It is like poachers wanting their favourite park ranger guarding the wildlife reserve.

      For heaven’s sake, judgees make decisions on cases presented by lawyers. Like the Kaduwela District Court judge did regarding the TV telecast, the process can be manipulated when judges and lawyers act together. That is not justice.

      Shirani bandaranayaka’s husband has many corruption charges and cases against him. She bought a Ceylinco apprtment at discount price. All these came out at the parliamentary Committee hearing, so she decided not to appear.

      Now, because Upul Jayasuriya and J.C. Weliamuna want her, we are to sack the current CJ? How are the black coats planning to do that? Just sack him?

      Shows that so many black coats hovring over Hultsdorf are only good enough to handle traffic cases, get the charged to plead guilty and charge a fee from the poor fellow too!

      • 17
        7

        The associate and collaborator of Rajapaksa the thief murderer and traitor cannot be allowed to continue as Chief Justice. Shirani Bandaranayaka and her husband have nothing to do with this. Understand?

        • 0
          3

          I agree Mr Pena Kyanna. It is a shame the BASL is not willing to respect the law and trying to illegally remove the current CJ duly appointed and replace him with a political appointee to serve their wishes. It has been agreed by all leading lawyers that, whatever the merits of the charges, the former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake, a political appointment of an inexperienced academic by Chandrika, was eventually removed legally through her impeachment by a majority parliamentary decision.
          BASL please respect the law and promote good governance in the country.

  • 9
    3

    What NK says makes sense and as Kain indicated, the news heading is a bit ambiguous. The whole episode of the unlawful dismissal of the CJ and appointment of a pseudo successor was distasteful and for many, was the turning point to review their allegiance to MR. It is paramount that whatever action is taken on the CJ issue has to be totally lawful and not appear as a case of revenge, which would be playing into the hands of those people who are waiting to find fault with the New Regime and say “nothing has changed”

  • 4
    2

    This is the second writer for the day with a misleading headline.

    Now to the subject itself: Mr Kokituwakku’s suggestion is very interesting. With a nod from the Government and the Police, the lawyers can bar Mohan Pieris from entering the court premises, and Shirani Bandaranayake is openly escorted to take her rightful place in the CJ’s chambers.

    I am sure everything will fall into place.

    If there is any challenge to the authority of Shirani B’s judicial decisions, that too can be fixed with a nod – a majority decision of all the judges of the Supreme Court, with a couple of weak dissents, to render the majority decision appear more credible.

    The problem goes away.

    Then the Government prosecutor starts his work on the imposter. Perhaps the Attorney General’s dept can find many reasons to incarcerate him for a dozen or so years. The problem goes to jail.

    This drama is bound to put a smile on many a drooping lip.

    Sri Lanka will then genuinely qualify for the title MIRACLE OF ASIA.

  • 11
    3

    Mohan Peiris is probably the worst ever man appointed to the office of the CJ.

    Before he was appointed to the office Rajapakse knew that there was a case pending against him in the Supreme Court Challenging his misconduct and dishonestly concerning a case filed by Customs against the Colombo Dockyard for defrauding over 600 millions of revenue. Mohan Peiris, then the AG, had withdrawn that case against the clear instructions of the Customs Chief. By this deceitful act not only he had deceived the Customs Chief he had also deceived the Supreme Court by informing the Court that he was withdrawing the case with the consent and concurrence of the Customs Chief. There is a serious allegation that he had been offered a handsome gratification running into over hundred million rupees for the job well done.

    After appointed to the office he himself dismissed this case, without affording the Petitioner to present his case before the Court. This is the great work of this man and no need any other evidence to judge his character and integrity.

    Then came the 18th amendment, probably drafted by him. He abused the provisions Article 129 of the Constitution which only permits issues that affect the ‘national interest’ be referred to the Supreme Court for OPINION. For this utterly subservient man Rajapakse’s problem of contesting for a third term was a national issue. But he decided to deny a public hearing and wanted the people to give same weight of a judgment to the rubbish opinion he expressed on the question referred to him by MR.

    Not just this puppet should be thrown out but well deserved to be charged for destroying the integrity of the Judiciary and making it simply a mockery.

    Returning Justice Bandaranayake will not give any person any preferential treatment. Already Mr Jayasuriya and Weliamuna has indicated that he are willing not to appear in any case before her in the event she resumed duties. What right thinking lawyers want is to restore the pride of the Judiciary and trust and confidence of the people in the Apex Court.

  • 6
    3

    Mohan Peiris drew two salaries when served as AG

    One from the Dockyard as its legal advisor and other from the Government for the office held as AG. This is grossly inappropriate and he should have been removed from the Public service.

    Two such other officials (two Deputy Solicitor Generals) who did similar thing, Kolitha Dharmawardana and Parakrama Karunaratne, were asked to resign for committing the same offence, so why not Mohan Peries.

  • 5
    3

    Mohan Peiris is a boot licker, hw probably is the only one who is directly responsible for people have no confidence and trust in the JUdiciary.

    For the damage done to the Judiciary, this man naturally deserve Sadam Hussain style punishment, by the people whose judicial power he rediculed.

  • 3
    0

    To prevent this kind thing happen again Govt should take corrective measures.

    In the new Amendment to the Constitution there shall be a provision barring any one serve in the ATTORNEY general’s Department and Private Bar Joining the Superior Court System, except career Jugdes with proven merit.

    • 1
      0

      Does this mean Shiranee Bandaranayake should never have been appointed to the Supreme Court as she was not a career judge but only an academic much liked by Chandrika Kumaratunga? During her time in office, the opposition led by the UNP, as well as the “Golden Key” investers had serious allegations against her. How can that position change now, without a proper hearing of the case against her?

  • 4
    3

    This sounds more like vindictiveness that was the trademark of the previous administration and best left alone. I have no doubt Chief Justice Mohan Pieris would resign amicably on his own accord and give the new administration the opportunity to reinstate Shirani Bandaranayake and put right the immense wrong that was done to her.

  • 4
    4

    An illegal person appointing another illegal person for the highest office in the judiciary?
    Thank God for having saved the people of this country at least at this late stage. Now all must be done within the law but the criminals must be punished severely and they should not be allowed to escape by some hholes in the law

  • 8
    2

    Whatever the circumstances that came into play and irrespective of its merits and demerits, the then President appointed a person by the name of Mr. Mohan Peiris to the position of CJ. The “impeachment” and the ruling of the Appeal Court are merely the processes and with the “Executive Powers” vested in a President (who cannot make a man a woman or woman a man)after the 18th Amendment came to be the “Law”, this person holds the chair of CJ. We all have no confidence in him and want him out.

    The question is how are we going to do it? If he “resigns” the matter can be solved “peacefully” ; IF NOT what is the way he has to be got rid of? Retirement is the next step. Can he be retired compulsorily? NO. Next step is again an “impeachment”. Are there reasons to do it?

    I believe, the above matters have to be addressed and considered, before staging protests, strikes etc. After all the stake holders in this matters are mostly and prominently the educated and professionals and the issue has to be addressed in a very civilized manner without succumbing into emotions and especially hatred.

  • 0
    4

    We knew that Kolitha and Parakrama were removed for drawing two salaries (one from ports authority and one from AG’s dept) but never heard that boot licker Mohan too did the same.

  • 3
    2

    Get rid of the crooks at the AGs department and restore the Rule of Law there in the first place, preventing re-emerging of dirty people of Mohan Peiris caliber in future.

  • 2
    0

    There are some crooks at the AG’s Department, even at the highest level. But that does not mean that all are crooks.

  • 3
    2

    Best CROOK produced by the Attorney General’s Department is probably Mohan Peiris, This man with no self-respect should be hanged for destroying the good name of the AG’s Department.

  • 6
    0

    This is my first comment on Colombo Telegraph, and I do so because I felt compelled by the sentiments shared by the writer. I wonder if he has read what he has written here? Whether it was fair or not, there was a process followed to oust SB and bring in MP. The country voted against people taking law unto their own hands, and for impunity to be taken out of the system. Now, the writer is proposing the very same group of people who are provided with the role of safeguarding the law, take the law unto their hands, and act like goons (in courts if I may add).

    I am all to oust MP and bring in a replacement. But I think it should be strongly noted that, it MATTERS how we go about it, over and above what we want done. In the fraternity of law, of all places.

  • 3
    4

    Mohan Peiris is not a judge. He is a vermin who wrote verdicts at the back yard at Temple Trees.Chase this rascal forthwith. Organise the masses. Hang him in front of Hulftsdorp

    • 0
      0

      sorry chandra. we do not do such barbaric acts in public. it only happens in the niddle east like saudi arabia.

  • 0
    0

    The Govt has confirmed emphatically that they will not interfere with judiciary hence The CJ will be asked to leave at the right time, a new CJ probably in an acting capacity will be appointed on merits, soon by a team of officials from the Judiciary and they will choose the right person . Unable to understand BASL’s intervention in this matter as the
    govt team need not go by BASL advice

    There was a cue and cry raised by interested parties in BASL to appoint
    former CJ, Ms.Bandaranayake, who was impeached by the previous govt,to be reinstated and BASL interference in this matter is regretful as a call of this nature should not come from the Bar council and such
    requests never heard from Bar councils in other countries. Leave it to the Justice minister to decide on merits as per norms, as the govt cannot deviate from their policy of transparency, which they publically
    proclaimed to the people of the country.

  • 0
    1

    SB desreved to be sacked for she started an open confrontation with the President. She tried a Pakistani style judicial coup evidently with instigation from a foreign hand.The process of impeachment I believe is also proper except the disrespectful manner it was held. But,to be respected ones position alone is enough,behaviour too has to be there.
    When one chooses to do dirty work for others,they must expect get dirtyed themselves.
    the black coats calling others corrupt is the biggest joke of the century. finding an honest lawyer is akin to what Lord buddha asked Patachara to find. They are all corrupt and therefore the whole judiciary is corrupt = corrupt society.

  • 0
    0

    Should not the most senior Supreme Court Judge be appointed CJ? Is SB the most senior?

  • 0
    0

    I salute the brave actions taken by Mr. NK against the unlawful actions of the previous govt. when the MR was so powerful. A fearless lawyer and former Customs Director NK should be commended as he did everything at the risk of his life. We all knew he was a honest customs officer fought against the smugglers and he had to flee the country for some time after the killing of Customs officer Mr.Sujith Perera. Mr.NK, the honest Sri Lankans are with you. Go ahead with your good work.

  • 1
    0

    Even the appointment of Shirani Bandaranaika as the CJ is questionable. Is there any truth that the most senior judge in the SC/Court of Appeal to be appointed as CJ? If that is the legal tradition and if there were no substantial reasons to break away from that tradition, such as the most senior judge having a bad track record of unethical conduct, then such traditions should be upheld and not violated.

    In the appointment of Shirani Bandaranaike, that tradition was violated, according to many knowledgeable personalities.

    In that case, re-appointing Shirani Bandaranaike as CJ will be still erroneous, when there are others who are more senior than her.

  • 1
    0

    OH FOR A CJ OF THE CALIBER OF CJ PARINDA RANASINGHE….!! NOW…THERE WAS A BRILLIANT CJ…..

  • 0
    0

    This Man is a disgrace to the justice system of this country. Al least now other Judges, if they have iota of integrity must refuse to sit with CROOK.

    WE DEMAND PRESIDENT SIRISENA TO PUBLISH THE SO-CALLED OPINION EXPRESSED BY THE SUPREME COURT ON THE TWO QUESTIONS REFERRED TO BY RAJAPAKSE. PRESIDENT RAJAPAKSE REFUSED TO PUBLIC THIS DOCUMENT. THIS IS NOT A PRIVATE MATTER BUT A MATTER THAT SERIOUSLY UNDERMINED THE SOVEREIGN RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY.

    ANY JUDGE IN THE SUPREME COURT WHO HAD VIOLATED THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE PLACED IN THEM BY THE PEOPLE and signed the So-called opinion expressed by MOHAN PEIRIS SHOULD BE MADE PAY THE ULTIMATE PENALRY.

    Adding insult to the injury IT IS LEARNT THAT MOHAN PEIRIS’s Rubbish opinion INCLUDE A STIPULATION that it has THE SAME WEIGHT OF THE JUGDEMENT PRONOUNCED BY THE COURT.

    IN THE EYES OF PUBLIC THIS ACT AMOUNTS TO CLEAR VIOLATION OF THE PEOPLE’s JUDICIAL POWER. THEREFORE ANY WHO HAD RATIFIED THE SOCALLED OPINION SHOULD GO HOME.

    SOME MAY ARGUE THEY WERE FORCED TO SIGN IT BY DE FACTO CJ MOHAN PEIRIS. THIS IS SIMLY A SILLY EXCUSE THAT PEOPLE REJECT, BECAUSE THEY ARE AT TIMES REQUIRED BY LAW TO UPHOLD AND DEFEND THE PEOPLE’S JUDICIAL POWER AT ANY COST.

    • 0
      0

      Are you talking about only Mohan? Why not Siromi. Both follow the same root to become Chief (CHEAP) justis. Are you talking about so called YAHAPALANAYA’. So explain me how one is going to be good and other is bad who followed the same root. At lest Mohan was in the legal cercle and Attorney General for long time. But the other come to the Supreme Court even with out any practices. So tell me how you guys can justifies.

      For you guys, ones some body go against your enemy, no matter what the crook did, he is going to be 100% pure. What a shame?

      For the disastrous in the legal system, not only politician, all these lawyers how has political agenda (what ever) are responsible.

      If you really worried try to find a personnel like Nevil Samarakoon as chief Justice.

  • 0
    0

    Why not talked about the so-called IMPEACHMENT ‘FINDINGS’ WRITTEN BY THE GROUP OF NEWLY APPOINTEDPRESIDENT’s COUNSELS BY RAJAPAKSE, HEADED BY KALINGA INDATISSA, AND MANOHARAN.

    A MAN CALLED YAPA SIMPLY ‘DELIVERED’ IT THE PARLIAMENT (AS IF IT WAS INVENTED BY HIM) WITHIN FEW HOURS AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS.

    THESE ARE TRAGICOMMODIES AND SERIOUS ABUSES. THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY HAVE RIGHT TO KNOW THE TRUTH BEHIND ALL THIS.

  • 2
    2

    Nagananda Kodituwakku

    In this background no person with common sense would understand why the Bar Association demands Mr Mohan Pieris’s resignation when he is occupying the office unlawfully. This does not make any sense at all.

    *** I am struggling to make any sense from the above. My question is whether you like it or not he is in the Chair and how do you remove him other than asking him politely to resign without resorting to tactics used by MR. That seems to be the more civilised way to deal with the issue.

    Peiris was nominated to be Chief Justice by President Mahinda Rajapaksa following the controversial impeachment of Shirani Bandaranayake. The Parliamentary Council gave its approval for Peiris’s appointment on 15 January 2013. Peiris was sworn in as chief justice on 15 January 2013.

  • 2
    0

    Can any body who pleased with Sironi B.explain me how different is the two character Mohan and Siromi, when come to impartiality and political involvement. Siromi is initially appointed by Chore Queen Chandrika even with out practicing experience directly from Uni to Supreme Court. She got a political promotion from MR as chief (Cheap) Justice. Mohan also got the political blessing but work in the legal filed for a long time.

    If somebody is really thinking about independent judiciary, should fight for appoint somebody who is not associated directly with any political party. In Sri Lanka 90% of people expect to have short cut but complain about the others. I hope, you all know frones theory (ISSO NIYAYA).

    No Mohan or Siromi, but some body with back bone……………

  • 0
    0

    I can’t understand the logic of what most people talk here.

    The plain truth is that Mohan Peiris is occupying the office of the CJ by force.

    When he made a statement under oath that he would perform the CJ’s Office upholding the Rule of Law, it was a FALSE statement made under oath, because there was no vacancy in the office. From the day one he occupied the office it was a occupation of office by force, now that force has been removed by the power of the people.

    Therefore, permitting this CROOK to occupy the office even a single day after the people showed their stand condemning this lawless affairs is tantamount to contempt of the people’s people’s sovereign rights.

  • 1
    0

    Reply Lalith’s query

    Shirani B – She was persuaded to disregard the role she should have played as the ‘WATCHDOG’ of the people in some of the crucial decision makings for the reasons best known to her.

    When 18th amendment came before the Supreme Court she was in good books of President Rajapakse (her husband had been appointed as the Chairman of the National Savings Bank). She knew it clearly violated the Sovereign rights of the people as set out in the Constitution but betrayed the trust placed in the Judiciary by approving it without referring to the people at a referendum. But when the honeymoon period with the executive was over she tried to exercise the people’s judicial power as required by law. When Divineguma bill came before her she straightaway declared that it was inconsistent with the Constitution and it requires people’s mandate at a referendum to become law. But then it was too late for her as she had made the Executive President Monster with the approval of the 18th Amendment without referring it to the people.

    Mohan Peiris_ This is probably the greatest CROOK produced by the AG’s Department. Man with no integrity or good character. he is responsible for abusing the office of the AG for robbing pubic funds in hundreds of millions of rupees.

    After entered into private practice Rajapakse appointed him as his legal advisor. When Rajapakse was elected to office for the second time in 2010, Mohan Peiris did not permit him to take Oath in office instead brought the 18th Amendment (but he forgot to have a close in the amended law to apply it with retrospective effect to cover Rajapakse) which he ardently supported before the Supreme Court.

    When all other leading legal luminaries refused to accept the CJ’s post when Shirani B was unlawfully refused he accepted the office and then use the office of the CJ to rectify the grave error he made in the 18th amendment. He drafted 2 questions for the President and got them to referred to him to rectify the blunder he committed.

    When the 2 question that directly affected President Rajapakse’s private interest, referred to Supreme Court Mohan Peiris decided that they were of questions of ‘NATIONAL IMPORTANCE’ but denied a public hearing and determined in favour of Rajapakse. This joker went to extent to say that the opinion he expressed on the two questions has the same weight of the judgement pronounced by the Court.

    When the opposition ask the government to table Mohan Peiris’s ruling on the two question government denied it on the basis that the TWO QUESTIONS REFERRED TO THE COURT WERE OF PRIVATE QUESTIONS AND THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY IS NOT ENTITLED TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

    This man is clearly a insult to the people’s judicial power the court exercise on trust. He deserved to be punished severely for openly betraying the rust and confidence placed in the Judiciary by the people.

  • 0
    0

    I think the bar association is underestimating the capacity of His Excellency President Sirisena. He is not going to act like a bull in a china shop. Don’t forget that there is a valid address of Parliament calling for her removal. Whatever be the writer says President Sirisena is not going to commit an offense that is likely to impeach him.

  • 0
    0

    The sincerity of the President will be tested with the appointment
    of CJ. Why is this hold up and why is the next senior qualified judge
    not appointed yet, even in actg. capacity. It is very obvious that
    some one very powerful is interfering in this matter.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.