The Chief Justice has nominated a fuller bench comprising five-judge-bench of the Supreme Court to hear a writ petition filed by public interest litigation activist Nagananda Kodituwakku over an allegation of judicial corruption alleged to have been committed by five sitting judges of the Supreme Court..

Through his writ petition, Nagananda Kodituwakku is seeking an order in the nature of writ of Mandamus directing the Director General of Bribery Commission to initiate a credible and independent investigationintothe complaint made by him, on Judicial Corruption alleged to have been committed by the five Supreme Court judges.

This petition has been listed to be heard tomorrow (12) at before the Supreme Court -bench comprising Justices Gamini Amarasekara, Yasantha Kodagoda, A.H.M.D. Nawaz, Kumuduni Wickremasinghe and Shiran Goonaratne.

The petitioner has cited Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, Bribery Commission Director General Kanishka Wijeratne, its Chairman Eva Wanasundara, members DeepaliWjesundera, Chandra Nimal Wakishta, Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare, Justice Sisira de Abrew, Justice Priyantha Jayawardena and Justice Vijith respondents.

The Petitioner states that on 22nd Sep 2020 the Justice Minister presented a Bill titled 20th Amendment to the Constitution, the content of which was completely the opposite of what Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa pledged to the Nation during the election. The petitioner said the 20th Amendment proposed to deny the judiciary of its independence with the abolition of the Constitutional Council replaced by a Parliamentary Council which has no power whatsoever over judicial appointments, which was proposed to be transferred to the Executive President.

The petitioner said 20th amendment to the constitution also proposed to do away with the independent Election Commission that would directly affect the people’s right to a free and fair election. And it also proposed to make the office of the Executive President above the law without subjecting him to the rule of law even in an event the President violates the fundamental rights of the people.

The Petitioner states that in this backdrop concernedSri Lankans including himself and several political parties vehemently objected to the said Bill particularly as it denied the judiciary of its independence which is a must to protect, vindicate and enforce the people’s judicial power with no fear or favour. The Petitioner states that 20th Amendment was then challenged before the Supreme Court for gross violation of the sovereignty in the people.

The Petitioner states that the hearing of the special determination matter on the 20th amendment was fixed before a Bench of five Supreme Court judges (respondents in the petition) in which the 6th Respondent (the Chief Justice) was the presiding judge on 29th September 2020 at which the Petitioner vehemently objected the 6th Respondent taking part at the said hearing. The basis for the said objection was based on 6th Respondent in his capacity of the Attorney General undermining the authority of the Supreme Court and giving false and misleading advice to the Speaker of the Parliament on 20th Sep 2017, to ignore the special determination of the Supreme Court made against the postponement of the Provincial Council elections. As such the 6th Respondent has completely lost integrity and credibility and therefore,he became explicitly unfit to discharge the judicial power of the people.

The Petitioner states that not only him and other concerned citizens of Sri Lanka but the international community including the United Nations Human Rights Council had condemned the said move that automatically reversed the gains introduced by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which included reestablishment of the independent judiciary, independent Election Commission, independent Human Rights Commission amongst other progressive measures.

The petitioner said though he reported the conduct of Supreme Court Judges to the Bribery Commission expecting the Commission to conduct a credible investigation into the complaints made by him, the Commission has so far failed to give effect to the law against judicial corruption.


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