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.
¨ 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.