Lord Denning M. L., the 20th Century British Judge and Jurist, in his famous book ‘The Family Story’, remarked: “Every Judge, on his appointment, discards all politics and all prejudice. You need have no fear. The Judges of England have always in the past – and will – be vigilant in guarding our freedoms. Someone must be trusted. Let it be the Judges.”
The principle duty of a Judge, especially of the apex court, is to suppress force and fraud. Force is more pernicious when it is open, and fraud, when it is closed and distinguished. Today, Judges are depositaries of laws, the living oracles who are expected, bound by an Oath to defend the Constitution, to decide according to the law.
The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka reinforced this principle in a historic judgement on Thursday when a seven-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Gazette dissolving Parliament, issued by President Sirisena on 9 November, was unconstitutional and illegal, and Parliament cannot be dissolved until four-and-a-half out of its five-year term is completed.
The Bench, comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera and Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Sisira J. de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardana, Prasanna Jayawardena, Vijith K. Malalgoda, and Murdu Fernando, also ruled that the said Proclamation is null and void and has no force or effect in law. Thirteen Fundamental Rights Petitions were filed against the dissolution of Parliament by the President, while eight Petitions were filed to oppose.
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