AG says PCoI can’t question his function before Trial-at-Bar | Daily News


 

AG says PCoI can’t question his function before Trial-at-Bar

Attorney General Dappula de Livera PC yesterday stated that the Presidential Commission of Inquiry has no judicial power or authority to question his function before the Trial-at-Bar. He responded in writing to the notice from the Presidential Commissionof Inquiry appointed to look into alleged political victimisation of public servants.

Attorney General’s Coordinating Officer, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne told the news media that the Attorney General responded to the letter received dated March 6, 2020 sent by Secretary to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to look into alleged political victimisation of public servants.

In this letter, the Attorney General pointed out that the mandate of a Commission of Inquiry appointed under section 2 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act as amended only contemplates such a Commission investigating, inquiring into or both investigating and inquiring into as the case may be to the President.

Further, the AG stated that whereas the Powers of such a Commission are expressly set out in the Provisions of the Act, particularly Section 7 and 8 thereof, none of these provisions or any other written law confer on a Commission of Inquiry the power to make an order to stay proceedings before a court of law or to make such directions to the Attorney General refrain from prosecuting or appearing and assisting in matters before any court or tribunal established in terms of the law.

In this regard it may also be noted that any Order to stay proceedings before a High Court or before any other court of law can only made by a competent court of law in the exercise of its judicial powers under Article 4(C) read with Article 105 of the Constitution. A Commission of Inquiry such as the Presidential Commission of inquiry is not vested with such judicial power.

in the circumstances, it may be noted that in the absence of an Order from a competent court contemplated under Article 4 (C) read with Article 105 of the Constitution in terms of the procedure established by law, it would be outside the scope of Attorney General’s powers or authority or that of any of Attorney General’s officers acting under his authorities to refrain from diligently prosecuting before a court of law.

The Attorney General further stated that the members of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry and in respect of mandate granted to it, and should also ensure that the duties and functions of the Attorney General in the exercise of his independent duties and functions are not encroached upon, as such process would have a prejudicial impact on the administration of Justice in the Country.

 


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