BASL hands over affidavit to CJ | Sunday Observer

BASL hands over affidavit to CJ

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has handed over an affidavit and documentary and video evidence to the Chief Justice substantiating their claim to initiate legal action against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake for contempt of court. President of the Bar Association Attorney at Law U. R. de Silva told the Sunday Observer, that the working committee of the Bar Association as well as the Bar Council unanimously decided that the statements amounted to an insult of the Judiciary and the legal profession and to set a precedent it was decided to initiate action against the statement of the Deputy Minister. “After considering the documents that we have forwarded, it will be distributed among other Supreme Court judges, which is the normal practice to get their views and suggestions,” de Silva said.

After it is decided whether this statement has made a negative impact on the system, the Deputy Minister will be summoned to give an explanation as to why he should not be dealt with for contempt of court. Deputy Minister Ramanayake speaking to the Sunday Observer on a previous occasion, said that he hadn’t intended to insult the legal profession or the judiciary, but was referring to certain incidents that took place in the past. In reply, the President of the Bar Association said the Deputy Minister by referring to a few incidents and claiming a majority were corrupt, did insult the system and it amounted to the people doubting the legal system in the country.

“We are also of the view that there are unwanted people in the judiciary and even in the legal profession. But, you can’t highlight a few names and claim that the majority are corrupt, then the people won’t merely look down at those one or two people, but take that statement to mean the whole system,” he said. He said that there are proper mechanisms in place to deal with such unprofessional characters within the legal profession and the judiciary, such as disciplinary action and that statements such as those made by the deputy minister should not be condoned as it will set a bad precedent.