President Maithripala Sirisena has forwarded the name of his Additional Secretary-legal affairs, to the Constitutional Council for its consideration for the position of the judge of the Court of Appeal, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.
As sighted by the Colombo Telegraph the letter issued by the presidential secretariat dated August 2, 2019, under the signature of the president’s secretary, Udaya Senavirathne, suggests Attorney at Law Luckshmi Menaka Minu Jayawickrema to the position available resulting from Justice M. M. A. Gafoor’s retirement, that came to effect on 23 April, 2019.
Jayawickrema who has about 30 years of experience as a lawyer was a former Director General of the Bribery Commission during the previous regime. She however, according to sources in the legal fraternity has none or limited court practice and has no former judicial experience.
After 2015 government change she took office at the Presidential Secretariat and continues to work in the capacity of additional secretary – legal, as a secondment.
According to highly placed sources two other names had been suggested by the Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Attorney General Dappula de Livera, to the president to be forwarded to the Constitutional Council for their consideration of the above post.
It is reliably learnt that the Chief Justice has suggested the name of the Kegalle High Court judge Ruwan Fernando, while the Attorney General has forwarded the name of Senior Deputy Solicitor General Sobitha Rajakaruna’s name to be considered.
However, in the letter addressed to the Chairman of the Constitutional Council, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya only sights one name and it states, “As per articles 107(1) and 41(c) (1) we forward the proposal of the President, Ms. Lakshmi Menaka Minu Jayawickrema- Attorney at law, to be considered for the vacated position”.
The Constitutional Council is scheduled to meet this Friday (August 9)
Back in 2013 Jayawickrema, in the capacity of Director General of the Bribery Commission filed a case against former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake on the basis that she had intentionally refrained from including details of a bank account held by her at the National Development bank, in the statement of her assets and liabilities and two other charges. After 3 years of litigation in the magistrate’s court, the Commission later withdrew the case.