- Published on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 10:09
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The Special Parliamentary Select Committee appointed by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to probe the 14 allegations in the impeachment motion submitted by 117 Parliamentarians against the Chief Justice Mrs. Shirani Bandaranaike will resume sittings today.
The Select Committee consists 11 members with seven members from the government and four members from the opposition and is headed by Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.
Following the filing of several petitions in the Court of Appeal inquiring about the legality of the Select Committee, on the direction of the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court issued notices on the Speaker and the Select Committee members to appear for an inquiry in this connection.
When the Leader of the House Minister Mr. Nimal Siripala De Silva raised a parliamentary privileges issue in this connection on the 29th of last month, the Speaker announced a ruling that no outsider or an institution could issue orders for him or to a Select Committee appointed by him.
Commenting on this matter the opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe said that impeachment motions against Presidents and the Chief Justices are a part of the constitution. The opposition MP Joseph Michael Perera also pointed out that the Supreme Court has no authority to summon the Speaker.
When the Select Committee resumes sittings today, the Chief Justice is to provide her oral submissions relating to the charges being leveled against. After hearing the oral submissions, will take up the enquiry about the written submissions.
Meanwhile, the former Chief Justice Mr. Sarath N. Silva has said that under clause 107 of the constitution the Parliament has the sole authority to take disciplinary action against the Chief Justice. He has said that the judiciary has no right to issue orders against the Parliament.
The President's Counsel Mr. K.N. Choksky, who was a former in the UNP government led by Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe has said that as per the constitution it is the Parliament that is empowered to probe allegations against the judiciary. He has said that the judiciary cannot give orders on matters under the parliamentary powers since the judiciary and the parliament have different powers. He has pointed out that it is the Parliament that has been empowered to probe allegations against a judge in the Supreme Court. Mr. Choksky has emphasised that it is only the Parliament that can take a decision by probing the allegations.(niz)