Written by Staff Writer
09 Dec, 2020 | 6:56 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Former Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorala and present Justice Minister Ali Sabry exchanged words during Wednesday’s (09) Parliament debate on matters relating to the independence of the judiciary.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa was able to become the President of the country as the judiciary was independent, said opposition lawmaker and former Minister of Justice Thalatha Athukorala adding there are concerns on the independence of the judiciary.
She said present Justice Minister Ali Sabry is maintaining a close relationship with the President, as he had stated he appeared for 35 cases involving the present President.
The Justice Minister in response said the special courts established by the former government posed an issue with regard to filing appeals on verdicts, as it resulted in a confusing situation where people were unsure at which court to file an appeal with.
Thalatha Athukorala went on to note the ruling faction often uses the term ‘imprisoned for political reasons’ and stressed the verdict on former MP Duminda Silva was delivered before the former government came into power, and only the appeal was taken up during the rule of the government she was in.
However, the Justice Minister alleged the Former Justice Minister was misleading the house adding unwarranted phone conversations also took place after the 08th of January 2015, when the verdict was also delivered.
“I am not responsible for those conversations,” said MP Athukorala.
Minister Johnston Fernando responding to a comment made by Thalatha Athukorala said ‘Pillayan’ was a political prisoner.
Thalatha Athukorala questioned if that was the reason to take “Pillay” to rallies disregarding the warnings on COVID-19.
Parliamentarian Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias ‘Pillayan’ was released on bail after he was arrested over the 2005 killing of former parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham, she said.
She questioned why the government had not managed to release Premalal Jayasekera, who was sentenced to death, as it managed to do with the Sil Cloth Case and the Divi Neguma Case.
The Justice Minister responded stating she should not commit contempt of court, to which the Former Minister responded by saying ‘Be Cool, don’t get offended’.
“I have no presidents to take care of cases”, she further added.
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