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BASL to hold Ranjan “in contempt”

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has moved to file contempt of court proceedings in the Supreme Court against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake, unless he provides evidence to his claim that a “majority” of the country’s judges and lawyers are corrupt.

“The moment people start, without foundation, proof, and evidence, to question the authority of the courts, and the judiciary, the general public will start to lose respect and dignity towards them,” Bar Association Deputy President M. U. M. Ali Sabry said at a press conference on Thursday. “As a result of this, the entire rule of law will be derailed,” he added.

Sabry said that if Ramanayake, the Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage, had any information about corrupt judges or lawyers, he should report it to the Judicial Service Commission, the Bribery Commission, or the police.

“Without talking to the gallery, go before the law enforcement authorities,” he said.

Sabry said that disparaging the judiciary as a whole has become “a very disturbing trend” in Sri Lanka.