Dec 08, Colombo: Sri Lanka Parliamentary Select Committee appointed by the Speaker to investigate the impeachment motion filed against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranaike has found the Chief Justice guilty of three charges of misconduct.
The Chairman of the11-member PSC comprising seven ruling party and four opposition members Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa presented the Committee's report to parliament Saturday.
According to the parliamentary procedures the Speaker will allow 10 days to debate the report and vote on a month after the presentation to the House.
Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa had agreed to assign the 10-day debate period once parliament reconvenes on January 08 after the holidays.
Minister Yapa speaking in parliament today said based on the findings three of the five charges the PSC investigated have been proven.
Dr. Bandaranayake has been found guilty of the 1st, 4th and 5th charges in the impeachment while there was insufficient proof on the 2nd and 3rd charges, according to the Chairman of the PSC. All other charges have been disregarded, the Chairman said
The impeachment motion signed by 117 ruling party legislators included 14 charges of personal and financial misconduct against the Chief Justice.
The PSC found the Chief Justice guilty of 1st charge which stated that Dr. Bandaranayake had served as the presiding judge of the benches hearing the fundamental rights cases against Ceylinco Housing and Property Company from which she had purchased a property known as Trillium Residencies.
On the 4th charge she was found guilty of failing to declare in the annual declaration of assets and liabilities that should be submitted by a judicial officer the details of more than twenty bank accounts maintained in various banks including nine accounts in NDB Bank.
According to the 5th charge Dr. Bandaranayake is accused of acting in a bias manner regarding cases pertaining to her husband, Pradeep Kariyawasam, who is a suspect in relation to legal action initiated at the Magistrate's Court of Colombo in connection with the offences regarding acts of bribery or corruption.
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said all the three charges are considered as severe misconduct and the PSC stated that these charges are adequate to remove her from the post of chief justice.
Minister Wimal Weerawansa, a member of the PSC said if any party had doubts regarding the findings of the PSC they are able to challenge the findings during the 10-day debate period.
The PSC concluded its hearings on Friday despite the walk-out by its members from the opposition citing the hearing was unfair. The Chief Justice and her legal team also walked out of the hearing saying she has no faith in the process. She did not defend her charges during the hearing.