The removal from office of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka was an unprecedented act in the judicial history of the country. I have been requested to examine the constitutionality of that act. In fact, that was the single issue on which the proceedings leading to the removal of the Chief Justice were questioned and challenged from the outset. Except in the government-owned media, there was hardly any reference to the alleged acts of misbehaviour. It was evident, from the beginning, that the objective of the exercise was to remove an inconvenient Chief Justice, and replace her with one more amenable to the government. It was candidly and authoritatively admitted by a political columnist close to the government that the resolution for her removal was motivated “for political reasons”. Even the President reportedly complained to a former Chief Justice that “she has got too big for her boots”. The only member of the government parliamentary group who declined to sign the resolution for her removal publicly declared that one reason for his refusal to do so was that he was presented with a blank sheet of paper that contained no charges.

 

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