Appeal against HC order in Raviraj Murder case CA fixes argument on August 2

Published : 9:11 am  June 14, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (157) reads | 

 By S.S. Selvanayagam  

Court of Appeal yesterday (13) fixed for argument on August 2 the appeal filed by the wife of deceased Nadarajah Raviraj MP against the order of the Colombo High Court in her husband Raviraj murder case.  
The Bench comprised Justices Deepali Wijesundera and Achala Wengappuli.  


Appellant Sasikala Raviraj seeks the Court of Appeal to set aside the High Court verdict of acquittal of accused.  


She filed her appeal on the questions of law lamenting that the High Court judge has directed that the trial be by a special jury including in respect of charges relating to the PTA and the Judge’s charge to the jury.  
She states her spouse Raviraj was an elected MP from Jaffna district representing Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi when he was assassinated on 10th November 2006.  


She states as borne out by the proceedings, when the case was taken up prior to trial, the Counsel for the 2nd to 4th accused made application for the trial by a Sinhala speaking jury.  


She asserts that the indictment in the instant case included charges relating to offences specified in the Prevention of Terrorism Act and that Counsel for the aggrieved Party objected to the said application.  


She states that her Counsel objected to a jury trial on her instructions on the basis that the PTA is, in the circumstances, ‘lex specialis’ (law governing a specific subject matter) and by virtue of the PTA as well as the maxim ‘generalia specialis non derogant’ (the provisions of a general statute must yield to those of a special one) which has been consistently applied by Sri Lankan courts.  


She underlines that it is the procedure specified by the PTA which would override any other procedure stipulated by the regular Criminal Code. In this case, that requires that the trial by a Judge without a jury as specified in PTA, he points out.