Monday, November 26, 2012

The TFC deal and the Chief Justice

My post on the TFC deal seems to be picking up a lot of hits, it is now, by a large margin, my most popular post.

The impeachment of the Chief Justice, now underway is probably the cause. The connection  between the TFC deal and the CJ is that the CJ's husband was the Chairman of the state-owned NSB which bought the shares at the inflated price.

That deal was undoubtedly flawed but how should that affect the impeachment? My previous post would not be helpful to anyone seeking an answer to that question, but Mr Nihal Jayawickrama, does address that here.

Mr Jayawickrama is a founder member of the Judicial Integrity Group which is devoted to the task of improving judicial integrity and accountability.

As far as the TFC deal is concerned Mr Jayawickrama is of the view that:

"A judge’s spouse is not prevented from engaging in any activity, so long as the judge does not get involved in such activity. A lack of circumspect or good sense on the part of the spouse in choosing which activity to engage in, is not a matter for which the judge can be held responsible unless the judge was, in fact, or appeared to have been, thereby improperly influenced in his or her conduct as a judge."
Mr Jayawickrama also has some interesting observations on the due process to be followed for the disciplining of judges here.

It is also worth remembering that this was not the only flawed deal on the CSE, the EPF has lost billions on several deals, and so has the state-owned Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation.  The TFC was merely the last in a long list, which despite calls from the COPE and unions, no one seems interested in investigating. Even the investigation to the TFC deal needs to be more broad based, there were surely others, besides the chairman, who were involved?

For those interested the Chief Justice's response to the charges is here.

Updated with a few new links to relevant commentary.

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