Sri Lanka chief justice's verdict quashed

2013-01-07 22:03
(Picture: <a href=\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

(Picture:

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Colombo - A Sri Lankan appeals court on Monday quashed a guilty verdict reached by lawmakers against the country's chief justice in a much-criticised impeachment hearing, a move that could intensify a months-long dispute between Parliament and the judiciary.

A parliamentary committee last month found Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake guilty of possession of unexplained wealth and misuse of power and declared her unfit for office.

Bandaranayake denied the allegations and challenged the committee's verdict, saying she had not been given a fair hearing.

The ruling by three appeals court judges declared the committee's hearing unlawful and its verdict null, and deemed any further action on the impeachment, including a debate and vote, illegal.

The appeals court's decision followed a Supreme Court ruling last week that said the parliamentary committee did not have the authority to investigate Bandaranayake.

Parliament was to start a two-day debate on the committee's verdict on Wednesday, followed by a vote on whether to impeach the chief justice.

The impeachment move was heavily criticised by lawyers, judges and opposition politicians who saw it as the culmination of a long dispute between the judiciary and Parliament, which is effectively controlled by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The critics viewed the proceeding as an effort to undermine judicial independence and concentrate more powers with the president.

With Rajapaksa's ruling party controlling more than two-thirds of Parliament's 225 seats, it was expected to easily win an impeachment vote.

There was no immediate comment from the government. But any move to disregard Monday's court order and impeach Bandaranayake could plunge the country's governance into chaos because the courts would probably not accept any replacement for the chief justice.

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has said it would reject any replacement if Bandaranayake is ejected without a fair trial.

Authorities had previously disregarded a Supreme Court request to delay the impeachment hearing until it heard a petition by Bandaranayake asking the court to declare the parliamentary committee illegal.

Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, a brother of the president, has said that Parliament is not bound by any court order. He is expected to soon announce Parliament's next move.

President Rajapaksa in 2011 appointed Bandaranayake as the country's first female chief justice. But she began to be heavily criticised after she ruled that a proposed law giving vast financial powers to the economic development minister, another brother of the president, was unconstitutional.

The dispute between the administration and the judiciary began after a minister allegedly threatened a judge to alter a decision and later led a mob to attack a court house with stones.

Later a judge who is responsible for transfers and disciplinary action in the judiciary was attacked.

Meanwhile, thousands of people protested in Colombo on Monday demanding that the government to withdraw the impeachment bid, ensure judicial independence and respect court orders.

- AP
Read more on:    mahinda rajapaksa  |  sri lanka
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

A truly South African Christmas song!

Oh, you will definitely recognise the tune, but when it comes to the lyrics, local is lekker!

 
 

I love summer.24

This man's reaction to his Christmas present is priceless!
LOL! Cats destroying Christmas trees
Great tips for surviving the holidays
The ugliest Christmas trees ever?

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Fluctuation is the rhythm of the day. You may feel the pull between your busy mind and your emotions today. Sparks can fly as...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.