SC Judges may testify before Select Committee

  • 8 Feb 2006 21:58:55 GMT

    Kiwikanga:

    What are your thoughts on this?

    From some of your postings I gather you have good knowledge of the SL judiciary and how it is influenced by political shenanigans.

  • 9 Feb 2006 00:02:42 GMT

    As I have mentioned before the worst thing to happen to the SL legal system, the system of justice and the judiciary was the appointment of Sarath Silva as CJ. Never in the history of the SL Courts (and may be internationally) has a CJ been exposed to so much controversy even going down to very low levels of degradation.

    Even though Justice Shiranee Bandaranayake`s appointment raised a lot of controversy at the beginning she was able to prove herself as a judge with the years through which she gained her experience by sitting along with the other judges. Justice Weerasooriya on the other hand is a career judge having joined as a magistrate and risen up having a far superior knowledge of the judiciary than Sarath Silva who `parashooted` and landed on top!

    There were quite a few magistrates and district judges who resigned unable to function with impartiality and with dignity with Sarath Silva at the top. There were instances where Sarath Silva hauled up certain members of the minor judiciary into his chambers and abused them in foul language unbecoming of a CJ threatening them to resign or face drastic consequences of even disenrolment from the Attorneys-at-Law register maintaned at the Supreme Court. The reason was failing to `tow the line` according to the whims and fancies of Sarath Silva rather than holding the scales of justice impartially. Such is the terror unleashed by Sarath Silva. A Fundamental Rights case was filed by a magistrate and a district judge against Sarath Silva. What happened to the case would be obvious as all FR cases are heard in the SC.

    It would be obvious as to why these two SC judges resigned from the JSC. At the instigation of Sarath Silva the JSC secretary too would have come out with the statement that the JSC could function with only the CJ as chairman. It`s only the parliament that can question the CJ and then remove him. It`s quite creditable that the two judges prefer to come out with their reasons for resignation at a parliamentary select committee as controversial issues regarding the judiciary and the CJ in particular should not be lashed out in public which would only aggravate the already deteriorating immage the public has of the judicial system.

    If MR and others in Parliament wish to restore the dignity of the judiciary this is the time to do it by taking up the two previous impeachement motions submitted against the CJ along with the latest development and get the explanation of the CJ and decide the appropriate course of action. Of course we have to have it in mind that MR and the CJ are personal pals where Sarath Silva`s son was `paige-boy` at MR`s wedding and if I am correct MR and Sarath Silva were batch mates at law college. So lets see the drama unfold! Honda honda sellam elivena jaameta! Kaatath horen wes muhunu bandata kawada hari natanna wenney elipita!

  • 9 Feb 2006 01:10:26 GMT

    Gaja, you are way off the point! It is not the disillusionment or anything else that has motivated the resignation of these SC judges from the JSC. It is the inability to work according to the laws, rules and regulations of Sarath Silva which now take precedence over the laws of the land!

    karthika, all judges are not appointed by politicians. Even the judges appointed by politicians become colorless when they sit in adjudication with the exception of Sarath Silva who is willing to turn blue, green and may be red depending on the environment like the garden lizzard! That is how the impeachment motion against the CJ submitted by the UNP while in opposition was not taken up when they came to power. None of the earlier CJs in the history of the SL court system who were all appointed by the Head of State depicted political color or gave judgment according to the whims and fancies of those in power.

  • 9 Feb 2006 02:48:41 GMT

    Some inside info. :)

    Shiranee Bandaranayake was the Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Colombo when she was nominated to the Bench. There were several conflicts between her and Sharya De Zoysa who (being extremely superflous) felt that she was more suited to the Dean`s post being from Ladies College, wealthy and having a Masters degree from Oxford. Shiranee was viewed as an SLFPer and was from Anuradhapura. Her English was not that great but she had a Ph.d from another law school in Britian. Sharya`s thesis for a Ph.d was only granted an M.Litt. which basically says it was not good enough for a Ph.d at Oxford. Sharya was seen as being UNP as Tyronne Fernando was her ex-bro-in law. Amid the nonsense of the petty infighting at the Faculty of Law (Shiranee could be pretty petty herself), Shiranee was nominated to the Bench and was viewed as being the darling of the Chief Justice. Apparently CBK (who knew Sharya. Both were in the higher echelons of society) wanted to teach Sharya a lesson or two! Sharya hated the Chief Justice but it was more a personal issue than a sincere concern with the flagrant abuses he was associated with. Sharya was regarded as being very shallow and not capable of forming an informed sincere opinion on anything. Shiranee was vindictive - so neither was the most pleasant person around!

    So what I cannot figure out is- what made Shiranee decide to out the crap at this time when she has gone on with it for years????? In fact it was noted that when the CJ wanted stooges to sit on the bench with him, Shiranee could have been a choice. If someone knows more about the inside story...please share it:)

  • 9 Feb 2006 03:32:57 GMT

    Smile4u, well at the moment one unofficial reason seems to be that the CJ and MR have another choice for the CJs replacement when it comes to his retirement in a few years. That of course seems a bit far fetched. SB would definitely have been eyeing the CJ post as she could have sat in the position for more than 20 years given her age. I am still in the process of getting information from Hulftsdorp may be there would be much more to it!

    In fact SB was almost always associated on any Bench that had the CJ.

    Also it could be that SB simply ran out of her patience putting up with all the villany of the CJ!!

    Smile4u you would know that SB was GLs darling student too!

    When you referred to SB as the `darling of the CJ` was it physical or metaphorical?!

  • 9 Feb 2006 06:00:42 GMT

    Kiwikanga, Thanks...Metaphorical...you probably know CJ`s taste:)!

  • 9 Feb 2006 06:05:34 GMT

    Well, Sarath De Silve was the match-maker for MR and Shirani. He would do well on `Magul-Kapuwa` area and not-so-nice-to-tell things in the feminine field (out of respect for the judiciary). He is another kind of the Red Spokesman, trying to be what not one is. What justice you would find from a man who was caught red-handed down parliament road `shaking` a car with a `blonde`; the witness being a Cop. Now that is Justice... we poor blokes will digest.

  • 9 Feb 2006 06:13:36 GMT

    Thank you Kiwikanga for your response not only to me but more importantly to hellogoodbye. It made much sense to me.

    I do differ in that I believe that a profession that upholds such a person as its chief is in itself weak. I know that Australian Federal Court judges have felt similar with their mates and academics in Universities likewise with their Vice Chancellors. That is the handicap in the subjective system. You have to separate yourself if you seek to challenge. To my mind, frustration in not being able to uphold our genuine work leads to this.

    As per my experience with the Sri Lankan legal system the CJ is not the only one who uses personal systems. Majority judges do. If you step outside your system you will know this. Hence what`s wrong in the current occupant leading that weak team? - until democratic lawyers are courageous enough to uphold their system - as I did at the University of New South Wales in Resource Management. I was able to because I did not aim to be the Vice Chancellor - Judge in your case - even though I had enough wisdom to be one.

    love

    gaja

  • 9 Feb 2006 06:16:26 GMT

    Karthika,

    The kangaroo courts of the LTTE would be recongised in Australia!! Then they can come back to boss around in SL

    love

    gaja

  • 9 Feb 2006 06:33:48 GMT

    The masses voted for politicians, the politicians make political appointees, the appointees act like politicians. The parliament and judiciary are the same in practicality.... theories are only for formal debate.