BASL concerned over case against former CJ, Judge | Daily News

BASL concerned over case against former CJ, Judge

BASL Secretary Amal Randeniya. Picture by Saman Sri Wedage
BASL Secretary Amal Randeniya. Picture by Saman Sri Wedage

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday argued against the initiation of criminal proceedings against former Chief Justice Mohan Pieris PC and Court of Appeal Judge A.H.M.D Nawaz.

Addressing a press conference at the BASL Auditorium its Secretary Amal Randeniya said the Executive Committee and the Bar Council of the BASL unanimously resolved to “view with grave concern” the initiation of criminal proceedings against former CJ, Mohan Pieris and Justice Nawaz.

The BASL was of the opinion that criminal proceedings against the former CJ and Justice Nawaz on the basis of professional advice given by them in their former capacities as the Attorney General and Deputy Solicitor General affects the "independence of Judiciary, rule of Law and the interests of the public at large”.

The Bribery Commission on January 18 filed a corruption case in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court against former CJ, Peiris and Justice Nawaz over an allegation that they conferred a wrongful or unlawful benefit, and favour or advantage on the perpetrators who had been accused of misappropriating funds belonging to Lanka Electricity Company (Private) Limited (LECO).

Responding to questions by journalists, Randeniya said the BASL has decided to make a submission at the Magistrate's Court, when the case is taken up again on March 8, to voice their concerns.

However, Randeniya took special pains to emphasize that the BASL “do not intend to obstruct or interfere with the course of justice or the right of law enforcement institutions to carry out their functions”.

“Our concern stems not from the stand point of the individuals concerned. The AG and Solicitor General are duty bound to give advice and their opinion on legal matters.An opinion could either be right or wrong. The professional advice given by the AG and Solicitor General or their deputies should not be a cause to initiate criminal proceedings. If not, the individuals holding such office would hesitate to discharge their functions.It would not set a good example,” he commented.


 

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