A five judge Supreme Court bench appointed by de facto Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, a direct beneficiary of the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake sacking last year has ruled that the writ issued by the Court of Appeal nullifying her removal was null and void.
The ruling which was expected yesterday was issued today, based on a petition filed by the Attorney General’s department, which challenged the Court of Appeal Writ Certiorari.
The Bench comprised Justices Saleem Marsoof, Chandra Ekanayake, Sathya Hettige, Eva Wanasundara, and Rohini Marasinghe.
The ruling is a first step in the Rajapaksa Government’s process, implemented by its CJ Pieris to retroactively legalise the illegal and unconstitutional sacking of Bandaranayake last year.
The process was commenced last year, soon after the Rajapaksa regime installed its puppet Chief Justice in Bandaranayake’s place. Pieris’ own appointment was challenged on the basis that Bandaranayake was illegally removed but by virtue of today’s judgment his position will become retroactively constitutional.
The judgment comes despite assurances provided to Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma ahead of the Commonwealth Summit last year that Sri Lanka would put measures in place to correct its system of removing senior judges. Sharma famously announced at a press conference in April 2013 that the Sri Lankan Government would be putting the remedial measures in place within weeks instead of months. Based on the Rajapaksa Government’s assurances, Sharma buried two reports by eminent Commonwealth jurists on the Sri Lankan impeachment of its Chief Justice that found the process to be illegal and refrained from providing the information contained in the reports to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group that is mandated to measure member states’ compliance to commonwealth values and principles.