Ministers sign motion to impeach CJ

Several Government Ministers have signed a motion to impeach Chief Justice (CJ) Shirani Bandaranayake, sources claimed today.

A Deputy Minister told a private TV station today that he too had signed the motion against the CJ.

Earlier last week Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris accused the Chief Justice of violating the constitution over a key judicial appointment, escalating tensions between the government and the judiciary.

Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris said Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake had overlooked 29 more senior judges when naming Manjula Tilakaratne as secretary of the Judicial Service Commission in May, accusing him of overstepping his remit.Tilakaratne was stabbed last month after he alleged there was a plot to destroy the independence of the judiciary.

“The constitution has been clearly violated in making this appointment of JSC secretary,” Peiris said in a statement, according to AFP.

“The Supreme Court has no discretion to appoint any judge, it (the JSC secretary) must be the seniormost judge from courts of first instance.” Although the government did not raise objections to Tilakaratne’s appointment then, reports say that it has been irked by his statement last month that there was a “conspiracy to destroy the independence of the judiciary”