Home / News/ Bar Association goes to SC against establishment of Anti-Corruption High Court

Bar Association goes to SC against establishment of Anti-Corruption High Court


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 13 March 2018 00:43


By Chathuri Dissanayake

The Bar Association filed a Fundamental Rights case against the proposed amendments to the Judicature Act to establish a Permanent High Court at Bar, opposing the proposed move to remove the decision-making process of instituting criminal proceedings from the Supreme Court.

The proposed amendment transfers this power to the Attorney General and the Director General for the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC).

Although the Bar Association welcomed the move to establish the Permanent High Courts to expedite the delays in the current judicial process, its President U. R. de Silva was opposed to a few of the provisions in the amendments.

“There is a process established to decide whether the case is going to be filed as a trial-at-bar, where the decision lies with the Chief Justice. Vesting this power on the Attorney General and the DG of the Bribery Commission is not acceptable,” de Silva told Daily FT.

De Silva was also critical of the mandatory requirement to continue to hold day-to-day trials when the court system is not equipped with the infrastructure to facilitate the move.

“If the courts had all the facilities, this would be fine. But if they are not able to provide us with the court proceedings and provide other facilities then it is ok. Sometimes witnesses may also not be available either, so this mandatory requirement is a problem,” he said.Further, according to de Silva, the appeal process too has been cut short by the amendments, compared to the existing law which offers two opportunities to appeal, as the decision-making process has been removed from the Supreme Court.

The amendment also states that the “Permanent High Court at Bar to try, hear and determine the trials of the offences specified in the Sixth Schedule to the principal enactment and any other offence committed in the course of the same transaction of any such offence.” However, the Bar Association claims that the schedule lists offences targeting specific people.“There are offences listed that can be tried at a different court, so it targets people,” he said.

Further, de Silva also said that practices such as postponement of a hearing when legal counsel is engaged in another court have been prohibited in the act.  

“This is a practice followed based on the case and each unique situation. If you include it in the regulation with the word ‘shall’, then there will be no other way around the situation. It will take away the possibility of taking into consideration exceptional circumstances as well,” de Silva said, explaining why the Association is against the clause.


Share This Article


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Great ‘Gamperaliya’: A great novel made into a great film by a great director

Saturday, 23 June 2018

‘Gamperaliya’ (Changes in the Village/Changement au Village) was the third feature film made by ace director Lester James Peries. It was released on 20 December 1963.The film was based on the famous novel of the same name written by the doyen of


Thushani takes Todos to new heights

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Thushani Rodrigo has always amazed me. From the very first day I met her, I have been in awe of her strength, courage and grace and constantly impressed by her creativity. The discipline and commitment she brings to her work, her farsightedness and h


Confusion in Maldivian opposition is to Yameen’s advantage

Saturday, 23 June 2018

The ongoing confusion in the ranks of the Maldivian opposition, barely three months before the presidential election, works to the advantage of the incumbent President and candidate of the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), Abdulla Yameen.


Implications of inward FDI on China: Lessons to be learnt

Saturday, 23 June 2018

China overtook the United States to become the largest trading nation in the world in 2014. China is the second largest economy in the world behind the United States and the largest exporter in the world. It is referred to as the factory of the world


Columnists More