Dec 07, Colombo: Opposition political party members in Sri Lanka's parliamentary select committee (PSC) probing the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake withdrew from the committee today after the ruling party dominated committee turned down the opposition's proposals for a fair hearing.
Making a statement to the media at the parliamentary complex opposition United National party (UNP) member John Amaratunga said they have no faith in the PSC and could not be a party to an unfair process.
The opposition lawmakers have asked the chairman of the PSC to allow the Chief Justice enough time to study more than 300 pages of new documents the committee had given to her and allow her the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses.
The Chief Justice was given the set of new documents by the PSC yesterday evening and the she had been asked to respond by this afternoon.
Dr. Bandaranayake's lawyers have asked for more time but the PSC has denied the request.
The opposition members in a letter to the chairman of the PSC Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa have requested the PSC to present the procedure that will be followed during the hearing and allow sufficient time for the PSC members as well as the Chief Justice and her legal team to study the documents relevant to the hearing.
They have asked the PSC to provide the country's top judge with the privileges she is entitled to as the Chief Justice.
However, the ruling party members of the PSC had reportedly denied the opposition members' requests.
An opposition member in the PSC told ColomboPage that the Chief Justice had not been given a fair hearing and that she and her lawyers were continuously harassed by the governing party members.
"Although the governing party members could proceed with the committee session, it would not have any credibility," the member said.
However, the seven ruling party members of the PSC continued the hearing in the absence of the opposition members and the Chief Justice.