Sarath case Hearing continues

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 February 2000, 04:55 GMT]
President's Counsel Ranjith Abeysuriya told the Supreme Court yesterday that the exercise of power by the Chief Justice to constitute a Court to hear the case against him was unreasonable. Mr. Abeysuriya was supporting the application that challenges the appointment of Mr. Sarath Silva as Chief Justice.

Mr.Abeysuriya raised a preliminary objection that the Court was not constituted in compliance with the provisions of the constitution.

Court:- Are you objecting to our sitting here to hear this case?

Counsel:- No

Court:- So you are objecting to the order made by the Chief Justice?

Counsel:- In that case the Supreme Court sitting to hear a case under the Fundamental Rights jurisdiction cannot exercise writ jurisdiction.

Counsel:- Supreme Court can interpret the provisions of the constitution.

Court:- There is no interpretation involved in this. This matter should have been raised in a different forum, the Court of Appeal.

Mr.Abeysuriya continued, "if there is one principle which runs through the entire fabric of the constitution it is the principle of the Rule of Law, and under the Constitution it is the judiciary which is entrusted with the task of keeping every organ of the State within the limits of the law, thereby making the Rule of Law meaningful and effective.

"Judges should be of stern stuff and tough fibre, unbending before power, economic or political, and they must uphold the core principle of the Rule of Law which says "Be you ever so high, the Law is above you."

"This is the principle of independence of the Judiciary which is vital for the establishment of real participatory democracy, maintenance of the Rule of Law as a dynamic concept and the delivery of social justice to the vulnerable sections fo the community," Mr. Abeysuriya added.

The Bench comprised Justice Wadugodapitiya, Justice Kulatunga, Justice Prijantha Perera, Justice D.P.S.Gunasekera, Justice Shiranie Bandaranayaka, Justice Ameer Ismail and Justice Weerasekera.

Ravaya Editor Victor Ivan, Sunday Times Deputy Editor Rajpal Abeynaike and A.Jayasekera are the petitioners in the case.

Further hearing continues.


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