Chief Justice steps aside from Golden Key case

July, 28, 2014

Chief Justice Mohan Peiris today stepped aside from the judge bench hearing the Golden Key case citing an anonymous letter received by him and in the greater interest of the judiciary.

The decisions was made public when the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by the aggrieved depositors of Golden Key Credit Card Company Ltd. was taken up before a Supreme Court bench comprising the Chief Justice, and Justices K. Sripavan and Rohini Marasinghe today.

Chief Justice Mohan Peiris informed court that he had received an anonymous letter stating that it was unethical for him to remain in the bench as he was a former Chairman of Seylan Bank. The letter also points out that Peiris was the Attorney General when the case was filed in 2009.

Therefore postponing the next hearing of the case to September 01, the Chief Justice stated that the FR petition will be taken up before a bench excluding him on that date.

The petition was filed on March 23, 2009 by 24 depositors including Dushyanthi Hapugoda, who is President of the All Depositors Association and a new Director of The Golden Key Credit Card Co. Ltd, while CJ Mohan Peiris was appointed to the judge bench from April 2013.

A total of 30 petitions were filed pertaining to the Golden Key fiasco while the court had initially declared that petition No. 2009/ 191 would be taken up for hearing and that the verdict given on that would apply to the other petitions.