Mar 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Supreme Court had appointed a 10-member bench to hear the five fundamental rights cases filed against the impeachment of former Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and an appeal challenging the appointment of Mohan Peiris as the Chief Justice.
President of the 10-judge bench, Justice Shirani Tilakawardane has referred the cases to the Chief Justice to nominate a full Bench as the Bench was not properly constituted.
Although 10-judge bench had been named to hear the cases, only nine judges were present since Justice S.I. Imam, who was nominated to the bench, had retired.
Counsels M.A. Sumanthiran, Suren Fernando and Viran Corea appearing for petitioners in three rights petitions filed against the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) that inquired into allegations against Chief Justice Dr. Bandaranayake had told court that on the basis of a motion filed in the court, they wanted to withdraw the cases.
Justice Tilakawardane had also directed President's Counsel Nigel Hatch who sought to intervene in three rights applications to give notice to the petitioners before making submissions for intervention.
Counsel Sumanthiran appearing for the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) who filed a rights application against the appointment of President's Counsel Mohan Peiris as the Chief Justice had requested the appointment of a full Bench to hear the case.
The 9-member Bench comprised Justices Shiranee Tilakawardane, Gamini Amaratunga, Saleem Marsoof, K. Sripavan, P.A. Ratnayake, Chandra Ekanayake, Sathya Hettige, Priyasath Dep and S.E. Wanasundera.
The Supreme Court has postponed the hearings of these petitions until June 11.