Two weeks sufficient to start implementing Judicature Act

Two weeks are adequate to make the necessary arrangements to implement the Judicature Act, State Minister Ajith P. Perera said. He was speaking at a press brief held at the Parliament complex yesterday afternoon.

State Minister Perera urged President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint the additional 35 High Court Judges before long, who will be a crucial part in setting up three-judge-Bench High Court. He pointed out that the law on appointing High Court Judges was amended six months before. Previously, the law allowed only 75 High Court judges whereas now it provides for 110.

State Minister Perera also requested the Attorney General to take necessary measures to recruit 100 State Counsel to the Attorney General’s Department at the earliest possible time. He observed that Cabinet approval had already being granted to recruit 100 State Counsel.

State Minister Perera further said the Ministry of Justice will soon be naming three provincial High Courts in the Western Province as special High Courts with a Bench of three judges. He also said 10 more high courts will soon be established including a special court to handle child affairs. “To have all these High Courts up and running, we need the extra High Court judges appointed as soon as possible. The law on this was passed six months back. We have also solved the issues regarding low payments for counsel employed at the Attorney General’s Department. So we hope the new 100 officers will soon be recruited as well. The AG’s Department has 17,000 pending cases to conclude. At present, they only have 113 Counsel to handle all these cases,” Perera said.

The State Minister also said that the Judicature Act, which was unanimously passed is a great victory for the government. “Many raised concerns over expediting our legal process. They looked at it with skepticism. But, we have introduced the amendments in a very short period of time,” he said. Perera expressed his confidence that all responsible parties in appointing the High Court judges and recruiting legal counsel to the AG’s Department will soon fulfill their responsibilities to expedite the justice administration in the country.Responding to a question, State Minister Perera requested for an investigation with regards to a misappropriation of the Samurdhi Social Protection Fund. Asked as to why this issue was not raised earlier when subject Minister S.B. Dissanayake was a part of the government, Minister Perera said that some people are reluctant to give out information when a minister is in power.