The President’s actions towards filling the vacancies available in Supreme Court have gained serious attention of the legal and judicial circles, reports ‘Ravaya’ newspaper.
According to the 18th amendment the power to appoint judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal is solely vested upon the President and the appointment can be confirmed after the nominations are submitted to the Parliamentary Council.
There is no mention in any part of the constitution at least on the minimum qualification of being appointed to such an honorary position.
3 vacancies in the Supreme Court bench
There are 3 vacancies available in Supreme Court and last to retire was Supreme Court justice Shiranee Tilakawardane.
It has been reported that President’s Counsel Priyantha Jayawardena has been nominated by the President and the nomination has been submitted to the Parliamentary Council for reference.
It is well known within the legal profession that Priyantha Jayawardena is a close acquaintance of the government and specially Minister Basil Rajapaksa. He who served in the Attorney General’s Department made a great contribution in the previous impeachment proceedings towards formulating the Parliamentary Select Committee report within a night confirming the impeachment charges under the jungle law.
It has been reported that he has contributed to the formulation of the heavily debated Divi Nwguma Bill. He, who was granted the title of President’s Counsel- which is lavishly offered to government henchmen – was seen in an out of trials held at Supreme Courts in rural areas such as Kantale and Agunakolapelessa. The President is to appoint such an individual to the apex court of the country.
Now the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has also directed their utmost attention towards such appointments. The Bar Association has already informed its local bar associations to immediately report their opinions and observations regarding the particular appointment. Following the collection of their opinions future measures are to be taken.
(Ravaya- K.W. Janaranjana)