BASL requests PM to refrain from pursuing Motion implementing decisions based on PCoI political victimization report

Following the placement of a Motion on the Order Book of Parliament on 9th April 2021 to implement certain decisions made by the Cabinet of Ministers on 15th February 2021 based on the Report of the PCoI to investigate and inquire into alleged political victimizations between 8th January 2015 and 16th November 2019, the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has requested the Prime Minister to refrain from pursuing with the said motion in a statement released today (17).

According to the BASL, this Motion was placed before Parliament whilst certain proceedings challenging the said PCoI report are pending before the Superior Courts.

Additionally, despite the Secretary of the BASL calling for a copy of the Report of the PCoI, a copy has not been provided to the BASL and neither has it been made public. The BASL had requested for a copy of the report as they believe that the contents of the report may undermine the Rule of Law in this country, impair the independence of the Judiciary, and erode the impartial and efficient functioning of the Attorney General’s Department.

One area of utmost concern to the BASL is that the Motion seeks to implement the recommendations of the Commission to withdraw certain ongoing criminal cases.

Further, The BASL is of the view that the said Motion, if passed, would be inimical to the Doctrine of Separation of Powers and an affront to the Rule of Law, the independence of the Judiciary and would set an unhealthy precedent with regard to due process.

They further state that if the Motion is passed, it would and should not have any effect or influence on any Court of law or on the Department of the AG or on the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.