Won’t interfere with judiciary`s independence: Rajapaksa

Last Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2012 - 20:22

Colombo: Amid protests by the legal fraternity over the alleged high-handedness of a minister, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said his government would not interfere with the independence of the judiciary.

"The independence of the judiciary is very important, governments can`t function without an independent judicial system", Rajapaksa said addressing a gathering on Sunday at Gannoruwa in the central district of Kandy.

Rajapaksa`s comments came as the judges and lawyers stayed away from courts on Friday in protest against the commerce and industries minister Rishat Bathiyutheen`s alleged telephone threat to the magistrate in the northeastern town of Mannar.

Bathiyutheen`s supporters stoned the court premises causing damage to the building.

The Sri Lankan president who ordered a probe on the incident said that facts need to be ascertained.

The minister had told him that the judge was not threatened by him as alleged.

Rajapaksa said as a lawyer himself his government would do everything possible to protect the judicial system without political interference.

The lawyers` body, Bar Association of Sri Lanka has vowed to institute contempt of court proceedings against the minister concerned.


First Published: Sunday, July 22, 2012 - 20:22

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