July 28, Colombo: The Chief Justice of Sri Lanka Mohan Peiris recused himself from the hearing of Golden Key case related to the deposits of a defaulted financial company.
The Chief Justice cited conflict in interest as the reason for his recusal since he once served as the chairman of another financial institution that had linked with the defaulted credit company.
The panel of judges hearing the Golden Key case comprised the Chief Justice as the Chairman, Justices Rohini Marasinghe and K. Sripavan.
Justice Peiris has served as the chairman of the Seylan Bank which was linked to Golden Key Company and its chairman Lalith Kotelawala. He was also the Attorney General by the time the petitions were filed by the Golden Key depositors.
The Chief Justice told the court that he received an anonymous letter pointing to the fact and he decided remove himself from the panel of judges in the greater interest of the judiciary.
Golden Key Credit Card Company, a Ceylinco group firm, in 2008 ran into severe liquidity problems, with estimated customer liabilities in over Rs.78 billion. The former Chairman of the company Lalith Kothalawala and 11 others have been charged with financial fraud at the company.
Depositors of Golden Key Company filed fundamental rights petitions at the apex court to regain their lost funds from the company.
The Supreme Court granted leave for one of 30 similar petitions filed by the depositors and the court has declared that the verdict would be effective for all the other petitions as well.
The case will be taken up next on September 01.