Preserve dignity of Bench and Bar

March 20, 2017 at 6:22 pm

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I refer to C. A. Chandrapema’s analytical article appearing The Sunday Island last week, on the disputed appointment of a member of the Bar to the High Court. I am afraid the writer has misunderstood my position when he wrote, “The argument being made by both Alagaratnam and Gunadheera appears to be, “Ramanathan Kannan became a High Court judge due to the lack of due diligence on the part of the JSC and now that he has been appointed, he should not be removed”!

In my piece in The Island under the title, “Don’t make Judges vanish”, I never argued that the appointed Judge should not be removed. In fact my position was, “the criteria governing the appointment of Judges to the High Court should take precedence over etiquette”. My point was now that the appointment had been made for whatever reason, the appointee should not be abruptly removed as such action would obviously cause embarrassment to the person concerned directly and affect the dignity of judiciary indirectly. My suggestion was “the best arrangement would be to provide for the person concerned to resign voluntarily from his new post and place him in a legal department in which he would receive the same emoluments and perks, with an option to get back to the High Court, once he had completed the necessary requirements that resulted in the decision to remove him”. Whoever made the mistake, the Appointing Authority has a moral duty to make amends for any embarrassment arising therefrom.

 

Somapala Gunadheera

island.lk