The Restoration of Chief Justice

In a dramatic move the newly elected President of Sri Lanak asked deposed Chief Justice Shirani Bandarakanayake to “resume” her duties as Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. Chief Justice Bandaranayake had been removed following the recommendations of a parliamentary committee in 2011 following several adverse decisions against then President Rajapakse’s government. Officially, Chief Justice Bandaranayake and her husband were charged with corruption and cases were instituted against them.

Interestingly, the President has informed current Chief Justice Mohan Peiris that since the removal of Justice Bandaranayake was legally void, their was no vacancy for Chief Justice and his subsequent appointment was also void.

Chief Justice Bandaranayake will resign a day after she resumes office, thereby clearing her name and protecting the integrity of the higher judiciary. Following the re-appointment of Chief Justice Iftikar Choudhary in Pakistan, this is the second case of a dismissed chief justice being restored after a political struggle. 

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