SC goes ahead with Appeal Court reference

Impeachment motion against CJ

*Speaker, PSC members absent
*Registrar directed to inform them of new dates

By Chitra Weerarathne

The Supreme Court yesterday fixed the hearing of the reference from the Court of Appeal for December 13 and 14, 2012 and directed the Registrar of the Court to notify the respondents of the dates fixed for the hearing.

The reference is on the interpretation of Article 107/3 of the Constitution. The respondents are the members of the Parliamentary Select Committee and the Speaker.

An intervention by one Roshan Fernando was refused, since there were no proper documents filed.

The bench comprised Justices N. G. Amaratunga, K. Sripavan and P. Dep.

Article 107(3) refers to the procedure adopted in moving to impeach a Judge of the Court of Appeal. The original Writ Application in the Court of Appeal had requested that Court prohibit the Parliamentary Select Committee from continuing with the inquiry against the Chief Justice.

The reference was made to the Supreme Court by the Court of Appeal during the hearing of some Writ Applications, filed against the Parliamentary Select Committee, appointed to investigate allegations against the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake.

Fixing December 13 and 14, 2012 as the next dates on which the references would be heard, the Supreme Court directed the Registrar of the Court to notify the respondents of the dates. The Court also said that the Registrar of the Court of Appeal had notified the respondents of the Writ Application by Nov. 28, 2012.

Yesterday the respondents, except the Attorney General, were absent and unrepresented.

The Attorney General Palith Fernando appeared as Amicus Curiae to assist the Court.

The respondents were given time to file written submissions prior to the next date of hearing.

President’s counsel K. Kanag Ishwaran appeared for the petitioner, Chandrapala Jayaratne and a few others.

The Attorney General Palitha Fernando appeared only for himself together with Deputy Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam and a Senior State Counsel, Nevin Pulle.

Professor Suffrullah appeared for Roshan Fernando, who attempted to intervene.

The Supreme Court said that it was acting according to Rule 64(1) of Supreme Court Rules.

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