The full verdict of the Appellate Division regarding 16the amendment to the constitution, has made the Supreme Court’s position and reasoning clear concerning the scrapping of the amendment. The 16th amendment had given the members of parliament the power to impeach judges of the Supreme Court. This had given the legislature and the executive control over the judiciary. In other words, a balance among the three branches of state had been replaced by the authority of the other two branches over the judiciary.
One of the constitutionally recognised fundamental frameworks was the independence of the judiciary. There can be no alternative to this. That is why the verdict of the Appellate Division observes that this amendment was an interference and a violation of the constitution.
We feel that this verdict has upheld the fundamental spirit of the constitution and will play s significant role in the independence of the judiciary. There is no alternative to an independent judiciary in order to establish the rule of law. There is no scope for any branch of the state to consider this verdict to be a victory or a defeat. The important thing here is to ensure a balance among the three branches of state. Modern democratic countries adhere to this simple formula.
The 31 point guideline presented by the Appellate Division for the judges in the verdict is significant. It plays an important role in ensuring the accountability of the judges. It will make the task of the Supreme Judicial Council easier in the future. We expect that the three organs of state play a proper role from their respective positions.
There is no scope to deny the observations made by the Appellate Division regarding the country’s political situation. It is important that the political parties of the country reach a self-realisation regarding the weaknesses in the prevailing state of democracy, the failure of institutionalisation of democracy, the failure of the parliament to play its due role, corruption, nepotism, failure to hold a free and fair election and so on.
In order to uphold democracy and to institutionalise it, we need to give deep consideration to the observations made by the Appellate Division in its verdict.