Conflict of interests between Sri Lanka's judiciary and legislature?

A simmering crisis seems to be developing in Sri Lanka as the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court are engaged in interpreting constitution as a conflict of interests is brewing between the legislature and the judiciary.

Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka yesterday decided to forward four petitions filed seeking a writ order against the parliamentary select committee (PSC) probing the impeachment of the country's Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake to the Supreme Court for an interpretation on the constitution.

Six petitions had been filed before the Appeals Court  against the PSC. Four of them challenge the constitutionality of the PSC while the other two question the integrity of Ministers Wimal Weerawans and Rajitha Senarathna as members of PSC.

A tri-member panel of Appeals Court Judges headed by Justice S. Sriskandarajah and comprising justices Anil Goonaratne and A.W.A. Salam heard the petition.

The counsels appearing for the plaintiffs argued that the PSC had no judicial powers to penalize an individual and the PSC was unconstitutional because of that reason.

The petitioners sought an injunction also against the PSC but the Court of Appeal held the decision on it until the Supreme Court would interpret the constitution in relation to the PSC.

The petitioners argued that the right of the Chief Justice for a fair trial has been hindered as the PSC is going to hear the charges against her. They point out that a constitutionally appointed tribunal may take up the hearing.

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