The policy making body of 11,000 lawyers of Sri Lanka said Wednesday that they went to the Supreme Court challenging the impeachment of country’s first female chief justice.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) had filed an action against the Speaker of the Parliament and 11-member Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake on 14 charges, the Bar President Wijedasa Rajapaksa said.
The BASL which represents all the lawyers in the country and part of the judges said that the PSC on Thursday refused to accede to request of the Supreme Court to postpone the probe until a constitutional interpretation is given on the impeachment procedure.
In its fundamental rights action, the Bar Association has asked the Supreme Court to issue an immediate order to stay further proceedings of the impeachment as it violates the fundamental rights of the legal fraternity and of the citizens of Sri Lanka.
The chief justice had denied all the allegations including not declaring over bank accounts and misuse of power against her.
The chief justice came under criticism by the government after her ruling against a bill that sought wider power for Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
Some international rights groups have expressed concern over the impeachment. The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, has urged Sri Lanka to “reconsider” the motion and ensure that proper due process is carried out. (Xinhua)