Shirani Bandaranayake reinstated as Chief Justice of Sri Lanka

Jan 29, 2015 19:20 IST

Shirani Bandaranayake, the former Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, was reinstated on 28 January 2015 by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on a special cabinet approval.

With the reinstatement of Bandaranayake, the appointment of Mohan Peiris as Chief Justice of Sri Lanka by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was cancelled and termed as illegal appointment.

The appointment of Peiris was termed illegal because, according to President’s office, the Rajapaksa government had not followed the proper constitutional procedure. Peiris was appointed as successor of Bandaranayake.

Earlier, Bandarnayake, the 43rd Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, was impeached and removed by the Parliament of Sri Lanka during the regime of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2013.

She was removed on the allegations of failure to disclose financial assets, abuse of power and disregarding the constitution. The charges were leveled against her after some of her legal rulings went against Rajpaksa’s government.

Constitutional Provision for Judiciary in Sri Lanka

Independence of Judiciary in Sri Lanka is mentioned Article 107 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka but the article also allows the Parliament to exercise considerable control over the judiciary.

According to Article 107(7) of Sri Lanka’s Constitution:

  • Every such Judge shall hold office during good behaviour, and shall not be removed except by an order of the President made after an address of Parliament, supported by a majority of the total number of Members of Parliament [including those not present], has been presented to the President for such removal on the ground of proved misbehaviour or incapacity
  • No resolution for the presentation of such an address shall be entertained by the Speaker or placed on the Order Paper of Parliament, unless notice of such resolution is signed by not less than one-third of the total number of Members of Parliament and sets out full particulars of the alleged misbehaviour or incapacity.

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