JSC calls for explanation from two judges | Sunday Observer

JSC calls for explanation from two judges

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has called for explanation from two sitting judges who are alleged to have had telephone conversations with UNP parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake as revealed by the leaked audio tapes.

In this connection, the JSC has asked the two judges to submit their explanations on or before Monday (13). However, the JSC has no authority to take action against the retired judges. They have already instituted action with regard to two sitting judges, JSC sources told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

Asked whether they would launch a full scale investigation on the leaked audio clips, JSC sources said calling for explanations is the initial step and the JSC has to follow the due process in hearing the two judges as well. Accordingly, the JSC has already called for explanations from the two judges, they said.

Meanwhile, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka has called on Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya to clear this serious matter immediately adding that, “any attempt to bypass or postpone resolving this issue would result in further erosion of public confidence in the judicial system.”

The BASL has pointed out, “while the Judiciary should be free from any type of interference from the Executive or the Legislature, individual judicial conduct on the part of all Judges is also extremely relevant in maintaining the high standards expected from members of the judiciary.”

The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) has released copies of the recordings to the government analyst on the direction of Nugegoda Magistrate for a full report on the incident to assist future investigations.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa referring to the recent leaked audio tapes of MP Ranjan Ramanayake, told the editors of national newspapers on Thursday (9) that a thorough inquiry should be held by a commission to expose the full dimensions of the issue. We hope the Chief Justice will also look into this matter pertaining to the judiciary, he said. The Premier further said that it is not for them to get involved in this issue since Parliament is the proper authority to deal with it. Otherwise, if politicians are to intervene, the issue will be totally misinterpreted.

Chief Government Whip and Roads and Highways, Ports and Shipping Minister Johnston Fernando told the Sunday Observer that the Government should take action against those judges with whom MP Ramanayake is alleged to have had illicit dealings.

He said “this is what the people expect irrespective of any political differences. Otherwise, if the Government Ministers attempt to act in such manner, both the judiciary and the country would have to face serious repercussions.

These incidents should be investigated thoroughly to prevent a future recurrence. The law should be enforced impartially. Otherwise, it would be difficult to rebuild the lost confidence of the judiciary.”

Minister Fernando said the question is as to why the judges concerned didn’t complain regarding this. Then the question arises whether some of them have also got involved in these activities. Otherwise, they may have been afraid to complain as they were aware of the true nature of the Yahapalana Government.

Various Government officials actually worked under fear. False evidence was obtained by force. When listening to the voice cuts of some judges, it is obvious that they had extended their support to file those cases. This is a massive damage perpetrated at the cost of the country.