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The Commission was prejudiced: CJ 43 to boycott Bribery Commission hearings .

Chief Justice 43 Shirani Bandaranayake informed the Bribery Commission today that she would not present herself before the Commission in the future, as she did not trust the integrity of the process and the Commissioners.  During a hearing which lasted for an hour, CJ 43 Bandaranayake said the Commission was yet to respond to her objections of bias which she submitted during the past hearings. Justice Bandaranayake said the Commission was prejudiced against her and she had been politically victimised.

The impeached Chief Justice had informed the investigating officers that instead of giving a ruling on the preliminary objections raised against two Commissioners, the Commission had proceeded to file a case at the Magistrate’s Court against her.

 She had said that the entire process was politically motivated in order to harass and victimise her, sources said.

 The Commission was currently investigating allegations directed at the ousted Chief Justice regarding the non-declaration of her assets.

 Earlier, the counsel appearing for Dr. Bandaranayake requested a ruling on the initial objections raised against the Commissioners.

 They also called for a comprehensive investigation into an article published in a state-owned newspaper last week which had allegedly foretold the outcome of the ongoing inquiry.

 During an initial hearing held in May the legal team headed by Nalin Laduwahetty PC informed the investigating officers that two of the three sitting Commissioners of the Bribery Commission were biased.

 Filing her objections, she said former Chief Justice Asoka de Silva had purchased an apartment at the Trillium Condominium when the Ceylinco case was ongoing and his personal relationship with Justice Balapatabendi was a reason for the bias.

 Detailing allegations of bias against two Commissioners, Justice Balapatabendi and Jayantha Wikcermaratne, Dr. Bandaranayake said their participation in the inquiry was a violation of natural justice and the rule against bias.

“I believe that among the reasons for Justice Balapatabendi to demonstrate bias against me arises as a result of his relationship to retired Chief Justice Asoka de Silva. I state that Justice Balapatabnedi’s son Isuru is married to Mr. Silva’s daughter Kanishka” the letter said.

 Sri Lanka’s first woman Chief Justice in her detailed objections said a Bench presided by her had dismissed an FR petition filed by Jayantha Wickeremaratne with regard to his promotion and this was his bias against her.

 Dr. Bandranayake said the statement made by Mr. Wickremaratne’s wife to the media showed his bias against her.

 In the objections addressed to the Director General, Dr. Banadaranayake said the Commission Chairman Justice Balapatabendi had “violated the law of confidentiality” by issuing statements to the media.

 Justice Balapatabendi, Justice N.T Wimalachanda and Jayantha Wickremaratne are the current Commissioners of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption.(Hafeel Farisz)
 Wednesday, 04 September


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