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Thursday, December 27, 2012 - 06.15 GMT

Appointing independent Committee, not within provisions of Constitution - Minister Yapa


Appointing an independent committee to look into the charges against the Chief Justice would not be within the provisions of Constitution, former chairman of Parliamentary Select Committee, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said.

“Our duties are set out clearly in the Constitution and the standing orders. We have been given a task under our Constitution and our standing orders. So other requests are not my concern. I was given a certain task as the chairman of the PSC and I performed it according to the present provisions of the Constitution and the standing orders” Minister said addressing media yesterday.

The entire process was transparent and had dealt fairly with the Chief Justice, he added.

Defending criticisms of the PSC for not providing the CJ and the Opposotion members in the PSC with a list of witnesses and documents to be produced, he said that the government members had called the witnesses after both parties had walked out. He said the only reason the witnesses were called was to authenticate the documents.

Responding to allegations of insults hurled against the Chief Justice, as alleged by both the opposition members and the lawyers of the Chief Justice, Yapa said that the recordings would prove otherwise.

‘All the government members who were appointed by the Speaker to the PSC stepped up in good faith and were open minded. Nobody had a premeditated agenda or any foregone conclusion against the CJ. As there was an impeachment motion against her, that should be probed by a PSC. This was the only way of inquiring as per our constitution’, the Minister explained.

Responding to another question Yapa said the government members took part in the proceedings with an open mind.

When questioned as to the impending constitutional deadlock, in the event the Supreme Court finds that the standing orders are not legal and therefore renders the PSC a nullity, Yapa said, “I can’t explain this in two words and I have to give you a long drawn out explanation. We have to work within our boundaries, in every country where you have a parliamentary procedure, the courts and other organs always respect parliament.”


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Last modified: December 27, 2012.

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