Parliamentary Council approves six Judges to SC | Daily News

Parliamentary Council approves six Judges to SC

Justice Arjuna Obeyesekere named Appeal Court President
Supreme Court to have 17 judges, Appeal Court 20 under 20A

The Parliamentary Council which met yesterday cleared the names of six nominees as Supreme Court Judges and Justice Arjuna Obeyesekere as the Appeal Court President, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena told the Daily News.

Speaker Abeywardena chaired the meeting and it was attended by all members of the Council. The meeting, which commenced at 10 am, continued for about an hour.

The Speaker said the new appointments would be made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa shortly.

Court of Appeal President Justice A.M.D. Nawaz and Justices Kumudini Wickremesinghe, Shiran Gunaratne, Achala Wengappuli, Mahinda Samayawardana and Janak de Silva were President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s nominees to the Supreme Court.

Asked whether Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera PC had submitted any observation with regard to the nominees, the Speaker said that the Council received no such submissions from the AG.

A member of the Council told the Daily News that all the above names were cleared after scrutinising their profiles. In addition, the President had proposed to appoint Appeal Court Judge Justice Arjuna Obeyesekere as the Appeal Court President and the Parliamentary Council had also cleared this nomination.

Under the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, the Supreme Court bench was expanded from 11 to 17 and the Appeal Court bench was expanded from 12 to 20. Justice Minister Ali Sabry previously said that it was a long overdue measure to clear the backlog of cases as these two apex court benches remained unchanged for more than four decades since the proclamation of 1978 Constitution.

Speaker Abeywardena, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa are ex-officio members of the Parliamentary Council which replaced the ten-member Constitutional Council. EPDP Leader Douglas Devananda and Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP Kabeer Hashim have been appointed to the Council respectively by the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader.

The Council can submit their observations on high profile appointments, including independent commission members and superior court judges, but the President takes the final decision.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.