Ranjan complains to CJ against Sarath Silva | Sunday Observer

Ranjan complains to CJ against Sarath Silva

2 September, 2018

Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment, Ranjan Ramanayake, in his capacity as a citizen of the country, has lodged a complaint with the Chief Justice (CJ) Priyasath Dep seeking to cause an investigation regarding the conduct of the former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva acting as legal counsel to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Minister told the Sunday Observer that although Article 110 (3) of the Constitution clearly prohibits a retired judicial officer from engaging in legal representation without a prior consent from the President, the former Chief Justice has continuously been seen and has admitted to being a legal consultant and a counsel for the former President.

“I believe the conduct of the former Chief Justice in providing legal counsel to the former president would tarnish the image of the highest court of the land and give rise to suspicion about the independence of the judiciary in general and in particular the judgments pronounced by Sarath Silva at the time he occupied your chair,” the Deputy Minister’s letter states.

According to the Minister, he will take proper legal action after an investigation is conducted into the matter. It is already well known that the former CJ at a meeting in Panadura had publicly apologised to the people for his judgement in the ‘Helping Hambantota’ case.

He had regretted not sending the former president to jail. Irrespective of the merits of his judgments, the pronouncements of Silva have cast doubts in the minds of the people if the decisions of the superior courts are politically biased.

“In this context, his latest appearance as legal counsel to the former president adds to the negative public perception at a time when the judiciary is rebuilding its image as an independent institution under the Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,” the Minister said.

Following the questioning of Rajapaksa, the CID reported to the Mount Lavania Magistrate’s court that the former CJ has continuously interjected the questioning.

“When the CID officials had informed him that he has no standing to interrupt the questioning, the former CJ has told the CID officials that he is making such representations as an associate of the former president,” the Minister said.

According to the Minister, the public conduct of Silva has already caused serious doubts in the minds of ordinary people about pronouncements from the highest court in the country when he was the Chief Justice.

He said that he is hopeful that the apex court will take appropriate action.