Sripavan takes office

Saturday, 31 January 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Following judicial ‘reset’, country’s most senior judge entrusted to lead Supreme Court
  • President’s Office calls Sripavan 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka
  • Controversial Mohan Pieris’ tenure erased from judicial history

Kanagasabapathy Sripavan, the country’s most senior Judge was sworn in as the 44th legitimate Chief Justice of the Republic yesterday, marking the end of a two year drama in the Supreme Court. Justice Sripavan, 62, took oaths before President Maithripala Sirisena last evening, the Presidential Media Unit said. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakse were present at the swearing in at President’s House yesterday. Justice Sripavan’s family members were also present during the small oath-taking ceremony. Justice Sripavan had been appointed “44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka,” the Presidential Media Unit said. The recognition of Justice Sripavan as Chief Justice No. 44, following Chief Justice Bandaranayake who was No. 43, the Government appeared to have erased the memory of controversially appointed Chief Justice Mohan Pieris from the annals of Sri Lankan judicial history. Chief Justice Sripavan administered the oath of office to President Sirisena on 9 January at Independence Square, after his campaign overlooked Chief Justice Mohan Pieris to preside over the important swearing in ceremony. The new appointment comes two days after President Sirisena pressed reset on a two year impeachment saga, dramatically reinstating Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake to office on Wednesday (29) based on a procedural point of the law pertaining to her sacking in 2013. President Sirisena revoked Mohan Pieris’ appointment to the office on the basis that Bandaranayake’s removal was unlawful, and there had been no vacancy created for the position. Bandaranayake was also sent a letter, requesting her to resume duties at the Supreme Court. After serving 24 hours back at the helm of the Supreme Court, Bandaranayake (58) retired from office on Thursday, with eight years left to serve. The new Chief Justice entered the Bar in 1976 and joined the Attorney General’s Department in 1978. A student of Jaffna Hindu College, Justice Sripavan was appointed Deputy Solicitor General in 1996. After a 24 year career in the law, he was appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeal. Justice Sripavan became the President of the Court of Appeal in 2007 and ascended the bench of the Supreme Court in 2008. In 2013, Justice Sripavan was sworn in as Acting Chief Justice for a brief period. Chief Justice Sripavan becomes the third ethnic Tamil to ascend the office, following Suppiah Sharvanandan (1984-1988) and Herbert Thambaiah (1991) both of whom also hailed from the Northern Province.

Justice K. Sripavan took oaths as the 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka before President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday -
Pix by Sudath Silva

Judges of Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Take their Oath before the President

  Former Court of Appeal Judge Anil Gooneratne was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court yesterday and was sworn in by President Maithripala Sirisena. Justice Gooneratne served on the Court of Appeal bench that quashed the findings of the Parliamentary Select Committee inquiry against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake in 2013. The ruling angered the former ruling administration which deprived Justice Gooneratne of a promotion to the Supreme Court. High Court Judge Lakshman Tikiri Bandara Dehideniya was appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeal, filling the vacancy created.