Dec 16, Colombo: The Judicial Service Association (JSA) that claims to be the sole representative body of the judicial officers of Sri Lanka says it strongly feels and records its considerable concern that the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake did not get a fair hearing at the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) proceedings in terms of natural justice and fair trial.
In a statement issued JSA says that it is of the view that the PSC did not qualify in terms of the constitutional requirements to conduct an inquiry for the removal of a Chief Justice as a genuine tribunal. Such a tribunal must be an impartial judicial body, says JSA arguing that the composition, procedure and the very conduct of some members of the PSC failed to meet the basic standards expected of an impartial tribunal.
The JSA also said in its statement that the organization is extremely concerned and shocked about the fact that the Chief Justice was insulted and humiliated by two members of the PSC forcing the Chief Justice and her lawyers to walk out in protest against this outrageous situation.
Outlining the United Nations Basic Principles of the Independence of the Judiciary that guarantee to every judge the right to a fair hearing and an independent review of removal proceedings JSA urges the President not to act on the findings of the PSC.
JSA further urges the Parliament to enact necessary legislation or amend the existing Standing Orders in terms of Article 107(3) to ensure setting up of fair, transparent, and impartial tribunal which would guarantee due process to probe the allegations of misbehaviour of the Chief Justice and other Apex Court Judges.