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SC to consider four petitions against Judicature Bill

The Supreme Court would consider four petitions against the Judicature Bill tomorrow under a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Priyasath Dep.

Sri Lanka Bar Association, Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s Chairman Prof. G. L. Peiris, National University Teachers’
Association Secretary Prof. Channa Jayasumana and Mahajana Eksath Peramuna leader Dinesh Gunawardane have petitioned the Supreme Court.

Prof.Peiris yesterday said the purpose of this Bill was to set up a special high court at bar permanently, with only the Attorney General and the Director General - Bribery to decide on the cases to be heard in it.

He said he decided to petition the Supreme Court along with others.

The leader of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna filed a Petition that certain clauses of this Bill violate the provisions of the Constitution, alleging that the said Bill shall vest the 'executive' with arbitrary powers to decide as to whom to be tried before the proposed High Court and thereby deprive the citizens of equal application of the Criminal Procedure.

The petitioner further states that the judicial functions would be removed from the judiciary and entrusted with the ‘executive’, amounting to the breach of the fundamental principle of separation of powers.

He also states it indirectly empowers the Attorney General and the Director General of the Bribery Commission to use the findings of the investigations carried out by purported ad hoc units of the police such as the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID), takes away the right of an accused to be represented by a Counsel of his choice and also seeks to take away the right of Attorneys-at-Law to engage in their professional practice. (Kelum Bandara and S.S. Selvanayagam)


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