Jan 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka parliament following a two-day debate voted today to impeach the country's first female Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayke who has been found guilty of misconduct by a parliamentary select committee (PSC) last month.
The impeachment motion brought against the Chief Justice was passed in Parliament with a majority of 106 votes. The motion received 155 votes in favor and 49 votes against while 20 members abstained from voting.
The Sri Lankan parliament decided to proceed with the debate to impeach the top judge as planned despite numerous calls from opposition parties and civil and judicial organizations to postpone the debate.
Accordingly the parliament commenced debate yesterday and the vote was taken at the end of today's session. Parliament adjourned afterwards.
Today's decision to impeach the Chief Justice will be conveyed by the Speaker to the President and the President will then decide the final course of action.
The PSC appointed to probe the charges against the Chief Justice found her guilty of three out of five charges it investigated. The impeachment contained 14 charges against her.
The PSC submitted its report to the parliament on December 8 and according to parliamentary procedures the members of the parliament were given one month to review before it was taken for debate yesterday.
Several protests in support of and against the Chief Justice took place in the Sri Lankan capital and island wide with the participation of judicial community, opposition parties and civil organizations.
Lawyers belonging to the Lawyers' Collective and Bar Association of Sri Lanka boycotted court duties and staged protests these two days to show support to the Chief Justice while government supports staged massive demonstrations against the top judge.
Local media reports said sounds of firecrackers were heard near the parliamentary complex in celebration of the impeachment motion being passed.