Jan 07, Colombo: Deepening the crisis between the judiciary and the legislature of Sri Lanka, the Court of Appeal today issued a writ order quashing the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) report on the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.
The writ order declaring the report of the PSC void was issued by a tri-member panel of judges of the Court of Appeal that examined a petition filed by the Chief Justice against the PSC.
The panel of judges comprising justices Sri Skandarajah, Anil Goonaratne and A.W.A. Salam declared the report of the PSC null and void since the Committee had no legal power vested in it according to the interpretation issued by the Supreme Court in this regard.
The Court earlier issued notice for the respondents - the Speaker and the 11 members of the PSC to appear before the Court. However, only the opposition parliamentarians, JVP MP Vijitha Herath and MP and Attorney M.A. Sumanthiran representing TNA MP R. Sampanthan appeared in the Court.
The Speaker, the government members including the Chairman of the PSC Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and the two UNP MPS refused the court order citing parliamentary privileges.
The respondents of Presidents Council Romesh De Silva represented the Chief Justice.
However, the leaders of the parliamentary groups today decided to hold the debate on impeachment motion on January 10 and 11. The vote is to be taken at 6.30 p.m. on January 11.
Opposition United National Party, People's Liberation Front and Tamil National Alliance representatives walked out of the meeting protesting the decision to proceed with the impeachment motion.
Meanwhile the President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed a four- member independent committee to review the PSC impeachment report. Government sources say that the committee began its work Monday morning.