Contempt charge on Ramanayake: Fixed inquiry on September 5 Ranjan pleads not guilty

Published : 9:14 am  August 9, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Untitled-2By S.S.Selvanayagam

The Supreme Court yesterday (08) fixed inquiry on September 5 on the alleged offence of Contempt of Court against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake.

The Bench comprised Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, Justices Nalin Perera and Prasanna S. Jayawardena.

The Rules was read to the Accused Respondent Ranjan Ramanayake. The Supreme Court has taken cognizance of the alleged statement as being contempt of court warranting proceeding to be brought against Ramanayake in terms of article 105(3) of the constitution. Thereby a ruling was issued to command Mr Ramanayake to show causes to why he should not be found guilty and punished for committing the offence of Contempt of Court. Mr Ramanayake pleaded not guilty. Counsel appearing for the Accused Ranjan Ramanayake submitted that the charge in the 2nd petition should be dissolved as the charges levelled in both petition were identical and similar and he contended that there shouldn’t be two cases for same alleged offences. The Court dissolved the charges in the second petition. The Court directed the complainant to file the list of witnesses and documents to prove the complaint and fixed the matter for hearing on September 5.

Attorney General on July 30 furnished draft Rule against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake complaining of him for having committed the alleged offence of Contempt of Court.

The Court on June 18 directed the Attorney General to furnish draft Rule against the Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake to show cause as to why he should be charged for in respect of two petitions complaining of him for having committed the alleged offence of Contempt of Court.

When the matter came up on June 18, President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran with Jerusha Crossette Thambiah appearing for Ranjan Ramanayake submitted that procedure should be followed in all courts according to Section 793 of the Criminal Procedure Code in Chapter 9 which reads the procedure shall be followed in all courts.

He submitted that according to that it is the person who complains should forward the summons containing the charges to be served on the Respondent. He contended that the Attorney General has no role in the proceedings. Additional Solicitor General Priyantha Navana appearing for the Attorney General had submitted citing former Minister S.B. Dissanayake’s case and submitted that the procedure followed in that case was that it was the Attorney General who drafted the Rule for Contempt.

Counsel Sumanthiran submitted that the S.B. Dissanayake’s case could not be followed because the expressed provision of the law was not followed in that case. He contended that therefore it is per curiam and the practice of the Court cannot override the expressed provision of law.

Additional Solicitor appearing for the Attorney General had told Court at a glance, there is a prima facie case (based on the first impression; accepted as correct until proved otherwise) against Ranjan Ramanayake.