Select Committees, AG and stupid black-coated men
The black coated Brahmins of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka now
want to haul journalists before the Supreme Court for contempt!
The Speaker meanwhile has referred to the Attorney General the suggestion
by another black coat that "a Select Committee to probe the
conduct of the CJ is not constitutional''!
back to the BASL's Bar Council black-coats for the moment. Their
words deserve to be treated with the contempt that's deserved --
and then dismissed with the contempt that's deserved for better
fact that the Speaker of Parliament has referred the CJ's Select
Committee matter to the Attorney General shows that there is a process
that has been initiated in the House regarding the CJ. This follows
two previous impeachment motions against him.
should show clearly to anyone except the obsequious, hopelessly
ingratiating and insular black-coats of the Bar Council, led by
that specially controversial Ikram Mohamed PC, that the CJ's conduct
is not a matter that has been exclusively the purview of the press
or the gentlemen of the Editor's Guild. It is a subject - - whether
the grovelling ineffectuals of the Bar Council like it or not -
that is now in the public domain.
it is not in the public domain, why has Wijedasa Rajapakse, a prominent
frontline black-coat himself written to the Speaker and asked that
the Select Committee proceedings against the CJ be reconsidered?
If he sits at his typewriter and sends off a letter to the Speaker
on the CJ, then isn't he also conspicuously drawing attention to
the CJ's conduct? Is he also then culpable of conduct that could
be in contempt of Court, according to the BASL's regular balladeers
Mohammed's words to the effect that certain Editors be hauled for
contempt of court before the Courts of law of this land certainly
had their timing right. There was no doubt that he was saying Editor's
should be hauled up for contempt because they have been writing
about the latest episode involving the Chief Justice that everybody
in this country including the Speaker of the House does not now
how cheap this is, is seen from the fact that it is his own Court
-- or the Court that he wants to protect - - that's in jeopardy
if there is any question mark that hangs over the CJs' integrity
and conduct. It's this that needs to be put on the crosshairs and
scrutinized, and the CJ cleared if there is no wrongdoing on his
part. Nobody so far as we know has asked for the CJ to be drawn
and quartered on this matter.
that has been asked for by the Members of Parliament and some of
the Editors is that the matter be investigated so that the good
name of the CJ - - and by extension that of the Courts of law of
this land be cleared.
this is read by the self appointed Imam -- sorry Ikram of our Courts
as a matter of contempt of Court on the part of the Editors, and
then of course the Bar Council in its now repetitively brilliant
wisdom of endorsing this that and the other whim of various people,
is supposed to have endorsed his sentiments. Without any resolution
but by some process of divining the opinion of the rest of the members
of the Bar Association, one might add.
I for one - - a Member of the Bar Association also to boot -- -
reject the Bar Council's contemptible assertion, and would say to
these worthies, for the sake of Johannes Voet (or any other potentate
you may genuflect before in these days) come off it!
Courts are to be protected and venerated as temples of Justice,
and you should be resolving that the Editors and the members of
the fourth estate who have been in the forefront of the campaign
to protect the Courts be applauded, feted and decorated. How do
you protect the Courts? By ensuring that they are not just clean
but are squeaky clean. If there is any personage in those Courts
that has any taint or any allegation against his name, then clear
him of such taint to maintain the integrity image and credibility
of the Courts. What is anybody who has nothing to hide afraid of?
Bar Council's grovelling attitude on the contempt matter can be
discerned by some of the following bald facts: (a) It was the Chief
Justice himself in writing to the IGP who put this whole matter
in the public spotlight saying that there is a police conspiracy
against his name. No wretched Editor did that. The CJ himself did
that. He put his case in the spotlight. Then the press got his letter
to the IGP in their possession, and they asked the CJ whether it
can be carried in the papers, and he said "yes, go ahead be
my guest.'' So according to the BASL's logic that the press is bringing
the Courts into contempt and disrepute, the CJ himself should be
charged for bringing himself into contempt?
is why when words such as contempt are used by the BASL President,
this ‘gentleman’ who uses such words must be careful
to ensure that the way in which he uses them does not place him
beneath the contempt of the public. Also (b) laws of contempt do
not debar anyone from seeking to ensure that Court remains a respected
way of ascertaining that Courts remain a respected institution is
by ensuring that the judicial process is subject to reasonable scrutiny
by civil society, mass media and any other interested persons/parties.
is a book called 'Stupid White Men' that has been written by Michael
Moore one of George W.Bush's fiercest critics in the United States
of America. Rumour is that he is taking time off from the US and
coming here to this backwater in Colombo for some rest and relaxation,
while writing a book called 'Stupid Black Men.' Omigosh no, that
is 'Stupid Black-coated Men.' I leave it to you to guess of whom
he will be writing….
this is what Michael Moore has to say on page 12 of the book 'Stupid
White Men.' He says about a US Supreme Court case involving George
Bush's election, "…..and Eugene Scalia, the son of Justice
Antonio Scalia, was a lawyer with the firm of Gibson, Dunn and Carter
--- the very law firm representing Bush before the Supreme Court!
neither Thomas nor (Judge) Scalia saw any conflict of interest,
and they refused to remove themselves from the case. In fact when
the Court convened later, it was Scalia who issued the now infamous
explanation on why the ballot counting had to be halted: 'The counting
of votes that are of questionable legality does, in my view, threaten
irreparable harm to the petitioner (Bush) and to the country, by
casting a cloud upon what he (Bush) claims to be the legitimacy
of the election.''
encapsulates the modern attitude to contempt of Court. Moore calls
a US Supreme Court judgment of George Bush's election flawed, ridden
with conflict of interests, and infamous!! Was he hauled up for
contempt? No, instead Bush invited Moore as a guest of honour to
the White House to sit next to the Chief Justice. As you grovel
these days before your potentates, can you cram that also into your
head Mr Ikram Mohammed??
(The writer is a black-coat…oops, Attorney at Law.)