Contempt on Ramanayake: AG files list of 14 witnesses

Published : 9:09 am  September 6, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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By S.S.Selvanayagam

The Attorney General yesterday (5) filed a list of 14 witnesses in the Supreme Court on the alleged Contempt of Court against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake.

The Court fixed argument on December 10, 11and 12.

The Bench comprised Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, Justices Vijith K. Malalgoda and Lalith Dehideniya.

The Rules was already read to the Accused Respondent Ranjan Ramanayake. He had pleaded not guilty.

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

The Court on June 18 directed the Attorney General to furnish Draft Rules against the Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake to show cause as to why he should be charged for in respect of two petitions complaining of having committed 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 was the person, who complains should forward the summons containing the charges to be served on the Respondent.

He contended that the Attorney General had no role in the proceedings.

Additional Solicitor General Priyantha Navana appearing for the Attorney General cited 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 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 curriam (By or denoting decision of an appellate court in unanimous agreement, written anonymously.)  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.

Petitioner Sunil Perera is seeking Contempt of Court action against Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake for alleged statement/ insult made at a press conference held on August 21 allegedly damaging the reputation of the Judiciary and the Lawyers.

Rasika Tissanayake with Suraj Walgama appeared for the Petitioners.

He alleges the statement amounts to a disrepute and insult to judiciary and the lawyers of the country.

He claims the Respondent Ramanayake is liable to be punished under Article 105(3) of the Constitution.

M.A.Sumanthiran PC with Ms Jerusha Crossette Thambiah appeared for Ranjan Ramanayake. Additional Solicitor General Priyantha Navana with Senior State Counsel Shuharsho Herath appeared for the Attorney General.