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* Former Indian Chief Justice cancels his visit to Sri Lanka on a visa issue
Sat, Feb 2, 2013, 01:30 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 02, Colombo: Former Chief Justice of India J.S. Verma, who was scheduled to arrive in Colombo Friday on a fact-finding mission to probe the impeachment of Sri Lanka's former chief justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, has cancelled his visit amid speculations that his visa had been revoked by the Sri Lankan government.

Verma was to lead a delegation organized by the International Bar Association to probe the impeachment process engaged by Sri Lanka's parliament to remove Dr. Bandaranayake from her post and assess the legal issues involved in the impeachment to determine whether there were any anomalies and wrongdoings.

The Indian judicial has told the Indian newspaper The Hindu that he cancelled his visit and there was no issue with the visa.

However, Sri Lankan media citing the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute reported that visas for the delegation to visit Sri Lanka had been denied by authorities.

The delegation was expected to meet members of the legal profession, government and civil society to ascertain the legal issues surrounding the impeachment.

Sri Lankan President removed the former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake after Sri Lankan parliament debated the report of a parliamentary select committee, which found the Chief Justice was guilty of personal and financial misconduct, and voted with a two-third majority to impeach her.

However, the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka earlier ruled that the parliamentary select committee (PSC) appointed to probe 14 charges against the Chief Justice was unconstitutional and therefore its report is null and void.

The government maintains that the PSC was formed and has acted according to the Constitution.



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