Sri Lanka`s highest court rules out impeachment
Colombo: Sri Lanka`s highest court Thursday ruled the impeachment process of the chief justice as unconstitutional, deepening a crisis between parliament and judiciary.
The ruling by the Supreme Court and read out by the president of the Court of Appeal emphasized that the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to probe charges against the Chief Justice has "no legal power or authority", reports Xinhua.
"The lordships have decreed that the process that was used to impeach her Ladyship the chief justice is illegal and unconstitutional because it violates basic principles of the constitution," lawyer Deshmal Warnasuriya told reporters.
He noted that under the latest order, the PSC as well as the impeachment process becomes unconstitutional and illegal.
The impeachment process of Sri Lanka`s first woman Chief Justice, Shirani Bandaranayake, over alleged financial irregularities, began in November when a PSC was appointed to probe 14 charges against her.
However, the PSC soon ran into controversy over its conduct with members being accused of blatant bias.
Key among the criticisms leveled against the committee was the refusal to grant Bandaranayake enough time to present arguments on the charges against her and cross-examine witnesses.
On Dec 6 Bandaranayake stormed out of the PSC hearings saying she was not being given a fair trial.
There are also allegations that she was insulted and called a "mad woman" by government PSC members.
Citing bias, the four opposition members of the PSC resigned after seven hearings. But undeterred, the government pushed through with the hearings eventually finding the chief justice guilty of three charges.
Subsequently, Bandaranayake filed charges against the PSC at the Court of Appeal insisting that the process was unfair and therefore illegal.
Analysts insist it is highly unlikely the government will adhere to the Supreme Court ruling as Speaker Chamal Rakapaksa, brother of the country`s president, has already stated that parliament was supreme.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Trump-Sharif conversation: Team Donald denies Pakistan's claims
- Aware of Chinese submarine deployment at Balochistan's Gwadar port, says Navy chief
- Hizbul commander Musa issues threats of attacks in new video
- 'Heart of Asia' Conference begins in Amritsar; Sartaj Aziz to pay a visit on Sunday
- Like SAARC, should India boycott Pak in Heart of Asia conference?
- Gujarat businessman declares highest ever black money amount – Rs 13,000 crore!
- Army proves Mamata Banerjee wrong, releases letter showing West Bengal govt knew of exercise
- Rs 14,000 crore default case: Gujarat businessman detained, says money belongs to politicians, babus
- Manohar Parrikar exposes Mamata's attempt to politicise routine Army exercise in Kolkata
- Newly-wed couple Yuvraj Singh and Hazel Keech perform `bhangra` at Goa airport – Viral video