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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2431

Shirani Bandaranayake Resumed Office as Chief Justice: Appointing Mohan Peiris instead was null and void in law

Colombo, 29 January, (Asiantribune.com):

Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake returned to Supreme Court yesterday afternoon, after President Maithripala Sirisena restored her to office and requested her to resume duties as the country’s lawful Chief Justice.

President Sirisena wrote to controversially-appointed Chief Justice Mohan Peiris yesterday, informing him that his appointment in 2013 was null and void because Bandaranayake’s sacking by the previous Government had no legal validity.

Dr Shirani Bandaranayake has resumed duties in the office of Chief Justice as there had been no legal removal of her from the post. The process of removal of Dr Bandaranayake in January 2013 and appointing Mr Mohan Peiris instead as Chief Justice was null and void in law points out President’s Media Division.

Presidential Media Division further stated -

That there was no valid resolution passed in Parliament for the removal of CJ Shirani Banadaranayake from office and the entire process followed was grossly flawed in law.

Accordinglt - In early 2013, a resolution was moved in Parliament to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) to remove Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake from office. Accordingly a PSC was appointed and its decision was that there were insufficient charges to remove CJ Bandaranayake from office.

The report of the PSC was presented to Parliament on 8th January 2013.

Subsequently, the PSC report was debated in Parliament on January 10th and 11th, 2013 and adopted as a resolution.

However, the resolution so adopted only stated that a Select Committee had been appointed. This is made clear by the letter dated 11th October 2013 sent by the Hon Speaker of Parliament to the then President.

Although a resolution had not been passed under the Clause 107(2) of the Constitution to remove the Chief Justice, the then President purportedly removed Dr Bandaranayake from the Office of Chief Justice and purportedly appointed Mr Mohan Peiris to that office.

As no resolution had been passed under the Clause 107(2) of the Constitution to remove the Chief Justice, Shirani Bandaranayake from that office, the said removal of her and the subsequent supposed appointment of Mr Mohan Peiris are both null and void in law is the constitutional position.

Letter to Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake by President Maithripala Srisena

In the letter to Peiris last evening, President Sirisena said Peiris would not continue to be recognized as the country's Chief Justice as there had been flaws in Bandaranayake's impeachment making it illegal to remove her from office.

The process adopted to remove Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake was contrary to the law and thus the appointment of Mohan Peiris PC to that post was invalid, the President’s Office stated in a press release.

The release: A motion was brought before the Parliament, enabling Parliament to make a recommendation to the President to appoint a Special Select Committee to remove Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake from her post. Subsequently, a Special Select Committee was appointed.

The decision according to that Committee was that there were sufficient charges to remove her from her post.

The report of that Committee was presented to Parliament on January 8, 2013 and was debated in Parliament on January 10 and 11 and a motion was adopted.

The adopted motion had mentioned only one point and that was to appoint a Special Select Committee. This was very clear in the letter sent by the Speaker to the President on January 11.

Although there was no adoption of a motion to remove the Chief Justice in accordance with Article No. 107 (02) of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, the then President removed Shirani Bandaranayake and appointed Mohan Peiris. As there was no motion adopted in accordance with Article No 107(02) as a pre-condition for the removal, the claim to have removed Shirani Banadaranayake from her post and the claim to have appointed Mohan Peiris from its very inception, were invalid before law, and that is the view of the Government - the media release stated.

- Asian Tribune -

Shirani Bandaranayake  Resumed Office as Chief Justice:  Appointing Mohan Peiris instead was null and void in law
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