Heated argument ensues between Judge and Defence Counsel

Published : 9:00 am  December 8, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Shehan Chamika Silva  

A heated argument ensued between Counsel Maithri Gunaratne and High Court Judge A.A.R. Heiyantuduwa yesterday after court ordered to adjourn the consideration of the revision bail applications filed on behalf of former Navy spokesman Commander D.K.P. Dassanayake and five others, who are currently in remand custody over the alleged disappearances of 11 youths in 2008.  


The revision bail applications were yesterday supposed to be taken up in Colombo High Court Number 1, where Colombo Chief High Court Judge Manilal Waidyathilake was presiding.  

However, Colombo High Court Judge A.A.R. Heiyantuduwa, who was taking the chair at Court number 2, came up to take over the previously scheduled 57 cases at Court number 1 in the absence of Chief High Court Judge Manilal Waidyathilake.  

When the revision application of D.KP. Dasanayake was taken up for consideration; Counsel Maithri Gunaratne who appeared on behalf of Navy Commander Dassanayake began to make his submission. However, Judge Heiyantuduwa said he would postpone the case as the permanent judge was absent.  The High Court number 1 Mudliyar (interpreter) then saying the nearest date that could be provided was in the second week of January and subsequently, the Judge went on to postpone the case till January.  

At this moment, a heated argument ensued as Counsel Gunaratne did not accept the stance of the Judge to postpone the case till January and asked for a much earlier date in late December.  Criticizing the attitude and the manner in which the Judge had decided to postpone the case, Counsel Gunaratne in a high tone  reprimanded the Judge alleging that it was a total injustice to the fundamental rights of citizens in the country.  

Judge Heiyantuduwa also hit back saying he could not accommodate the request as there was no date available in the month of December.  

However, after the heated argument, the Counsel left the Court room criticizing the Judge and within a few minutes he came back into the court room.  

At this moment, Judge Heiyantuduwa asked Counsel Gunaratne and Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara to make relevant submissions for the record regarding the adjournment of the consideration of revision applications.  
Counsel Gunaratne said that it was the second time that the consideration of the revision application was postponed and therefore he requested the court to call the case before the permanent Judge prior to the star of December court vacation.  

Speaking on the behaviour of Counsel Gunaratene, Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara said in the previous date when the matter was taken up for consideration the permanent Judge was in hospital and yesterday it was said that the Judge was not on duty due to a personal reason.  

Suspects, D.K.P. Dassanayake, Sumith Ranasinghe, Lakshman Udayakumara, Naleen Prasanna, Ihalagedara Dharmadasa and Pathiranage Dasanayake, who were in remand custody had filed revision bail applications in High Court, while suspect Prasad Hettiarachchi is evading the Magisterial inquiry and suspect Sampath Munasinghe is on bail.