Nov 11, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has focused its attention on appointing an acting Chief Justice until the impeachment hearing against the Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake is concluded.
The President has powers to appoint an acting Chief Justice in a situation where the incumbent Chief Justice fails to perform duties such as illness, going abroad etc. under chapter 109 (1) of the Constitution.
Another Supreme Court Judge should be appointed to act as Chief Justice. However, the appointment is only for 14 days and needed to be extended.
The action is expected to pave way for the Chief Justice to avoid sitting in benches that examine petitions.
Ruling party lawmakers and state media have criticized the Chief Justice for continuing to conduct her duties and hear cases while impeachment hearing is pending before Parliament saying that her conduct is unethical and unconstitutional.
However, a senior President's Counsel has said that Chief Justice could continue to sit and hear cases in court since the impeachment motion against her was still pending in parliament.
Meanwhile, the Bribery and Corruption Commission says that it will probe a complaint lodged against the Chief Justice.
Reportedly, the parliamentary select committee which is yet to be formed fully may take more than a month to probe the charges against the Chief Justice.