PRESS STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE BY THE LAWYERS OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE
The media has quoted the Government Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee as having
stated that they have found the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake guilty of the 1 st, 4th and 5th
allegations in the impeachment motion while exonerating her of the 2 nd and 3rd allegations.
The Chief Justice is yet to be issued a copy of the evidence and the findings of the Government
Members of the Select Committee. It is understood that the Report was submitted just hours after the
Government Members of the Select Committee concluded hearing witnesses.
As soon as she is furnished with the same the Chief Justice will respond to the report of the Government
Members and to the ex-parte evidence which was given in her absence, without any notice being
given to her and which was given devoid of cross-examination. The Chief Justice re-iterates that if the
said witnesses were cross-examined by her counsel, she would have been able to demonstrate the
untruthfulness of the evidence of the key witnesses hurriedly summoned.
The Chief Justice’s position is that the findings of the Government Parliamentarians in the Select
Committee do not constitute a report of the Select Committee since the Opposition Members on the
Select Committee had withdrawn from the proceedings and they were not given an opportunity to
submit their observations.
The proceedings before the Government Members of the Select Committee are fundamentally flawed
since the proceedings were unfair, conducted without a proper procedure being adopted, conducted
without giving the Chief Justice an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and without observing
the rules of natural justice or the elementary standards of fairness. In fact after the Chief Justice was
informed that only documentary evidence will be used at the inquiry, after the Chief Justice walked out
of the Select Committee, the very next day sixteen witnesses were called and their evidence led without
any notice to the Chief Justice and without making them available for cross-examination.
Yesterday’s observations made by Sri Lanka’s most eminent Judge and Jurist Dr. C.G. Weeramanthry,
confirm the Chief Justice’s contention that she never received a fair or impartial hearing from the
Government Members of the Select Committee.
It is noteworthy that even when evidence was led ex parte (that is, in the absence of the Chief Justice
and her lawyers , in the absence of cross examination and in the absence of evidence being put forward
by the Chief Justice) yet there was no evidence to justify allegations 2 and 3 which were made without
supporting evidence and the question arises as to the basis in which 117 Members of the Parliament
signed the impeachment motion putting forward the said charges.
The Government Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee have also stated that they will not
even look in to the charges bearing numbers 6 to 14, although the Select Committee was mandated by
the Speaker to look in to all charges including the said charges numbered 6 to 14.
The Chief Justice has at all times maintained that she is innocent of all charges which are baseless and
framed purely with malicious intent. She has always stated that there is no evidence whatsoever in
support of the charges framed against her. Her stance is now vindicated. It is hoped that suitable action
would be taken against the aforesaid parties for framing charges against a sitting Chief Justice which
could not even be maintained at an ex parte hearing.
She will as soon as the report of the Government Members of the Select Committee is made available
respond to the findings, demonstrate that the findings are incorrect and she is innocent of the charges.
12th December 2012