Written by Tharushan Fernando
09 Jul, 2016 | 8:51 pm
Chief Opposition Whip MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, speaking in parliament on Friday commented on the Judicial Services Commission
Chief Opposition Whip, MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake stated that the biggest split in the Sri Lankan judiciary occurred when an impeachment motion was brought against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake and when Mohan Peiris took over the role the divide intensified and they began to replace judges. Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singapulli was replaced while additional magistrates serving in the Colombo Magistrate’s court, excluding justices C.T.P. Ranasinghe and Nishantha Peiris were transferred to far off locations.
He added that justices who supported the impeachment motions were installed in courts around Colombo and due to this move, most of the justices who stood up for justice are still serving in far off locations – and they used the judicial services commission to commit this witch hunt.
He added that individuals who allegedly accepted bribes in Kalutara and Maligakanda were appointed to positions in Colombo where important cases such as income tax fraud were being heard. And the policy of transferring judges as agreed by the judicial services commission and the judicial services association is not being implemented due to the interference of the deputy secretary of the Judicial Services Commission.
He went on to note that senior judges have been disenchanted and let down due to actions of this deputy secretary which were arbitrary and ad hoc. And the Judicial Services Commission which was conceptualsed to protect the integrity of the judicial sector, has now become the very same institution that interferes with the independence of the judiciary.
“If I had the power to look into this, I would gladly do so. However, as it is an independent body, as ministers we don’t have the authority to interfer”, replied the Minister of Justice,Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha
The Chief Opposition Whip added that the Judicial Services Commission was created for a specific reason. However they are not violating this very reason, and they have acted in a manner which has impacted the independence of the judiciary. The parliament should take a stand on the decisions of the commission, he said.
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