Rajapaksa Hits Fresh Snag: Not Enough Judges To Take Up Appeal: Delay Caused By Sirisena’s Move To Manipulate Judiciary
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa hit a fresh snag yesterday when the Supreme Court did not have enough judges to take up his appeal on the interim order issued by the Cout of Appeal preventing his government from continuing in office.
Two vacant positions in the Supreme Court are yet to be filled by President Sirisena. Colombo Telegraph previously revealed that Sirisena is delaying the two appointments in a bid to manipulate the ongoing court case over the dissolution of Parliament. Two judges – namely S. Thurairaja and Gamini Amarasekera – are yet to take oaths as Supreme Court judges despite their names being selected by the Constitutional Council.
The Constitutional Council selected them from the four names presented to the council by the President. One other name that was recommended by the President was Deepali Wijesundera, the judge who convicted Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka in a politically orchestrated trial under the Rajapaksa rule. The Constitutional Council declined to endorse her appointment.
The Appeal Court has issued notice and an interim order against Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Government, preventing them from acting as Prime Minister, Cabinet and Deputy Ministers.
The order was issued in a Quo Warranto case filed by 122 Parliamentarians against Rajapaksa and his new Government.
The Court of Appeal ordered 49 members of the new cabinet to appear in court on December 12th to respond to the petition.
The petitioners had urged the Court of Appeal to rule against Rajapaksa’s appointment.
Wickremesinghe and the United National Front (UNF) as well as the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) challenged the appointment saying it was unconstitutional.
They also noted that Rajapaksa lost a no-confidence vote in Parliament. (Colombo Gazette)