The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has urged the government to refrain from undermining the independence of the judiciary in Sri Lanka.
The BASL made this request while expressing its grave concern regarding the recent statements made by Parliamentarian Premnath Dolawatte and State Minister Shehan Semasinghe referring to an ongoing case in the Supreme Court pertaining to the Local Authorities elections.
The BASL is of the view that both statements constitute an interference with the judicial process and undermine the independence of the judiciary in Sri Lanka.
The BASL stated that on 7th March 2023, MP Dolawatte criticised the interim orders issued by the Supreme Court in a Fundamental Application alleging that the orders breached the Parliamentary Privilege and casts aspersions on one of the members of the bench.
State Minister Semasinghe in his statement on 10th March 2023 had requested the Deputy Speaker to advise the relevant authorities not to proceed and take any action on the interim order given by the Supreme Court with regard to the Local Government election until the Parliamentary Committee on Privileges concludes its inquiry on the privilege issue raised by MP Premnath Dolawatte.
The BASL observed that any attempt to interfere with the independence of the judiciary as a serious affront to the rule of law and the rights of the people of the country.
Such affronts to the independence of the judiciary will compromise the ability of the court to do justice according to law, irrespective of the parties.
In the past whenever the independence of the judiciary has been under threat whether it be from the executive arm or any other quarter, the BASL and its members throughout the island have fiercely opposed such interferences, the BASL statement added.
Accordingly, the BASL urges the Government to learn from the lessons of history and to refrain from undermining the independence of the judiciary in Sri Lanka.
This statement had been issued under the signatures of BASL President Saliya Pieris PC and its Secretary Isuru Balapatabendi.(Lakmal Sooriyagoda)
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