Home / News/ AG files 14 witnesses list on Contempt of Court case against Ramanayake

AG files 14 witnesses list on Contempt of Court case against Ramanayake

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 6 September 2018 00:53

By S.S. Selvanayagam

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

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

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

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

The Attorney General on 30 July furnished draft Rule against Ramanayake complaining of him having allegedly committed the offence of Contempt of Court.

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

When the matter came up on 18 June, President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran with Jerusha Crossette Thambiah appearing for 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 who 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 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 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 curriem and the practice of the Court cannot override the expressed provision of law.

The 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 Ramanayake.

Petitioner Sunil Perera is seeking Contempt of Court action against Ramanayake for alleged statement/ made at a press conference held on 21 August allegedly damaging the reputation of the Judiciary and lawyers. Rasika Tissanayake with Suraj Walgama appeared for the Petitioners.

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

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

Article 105(3) reads: The Supreme Court of the Republic of Sri Lanka and the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Sri Lanka shall each be a Superior Court of record and shall have all the powers of such Court including the power to punish for Contempt of Court itself, whether committed in the Court itself or elsewhere, with imprisonment or fine or both as the Court may deem fit.

He states that the utterance/statement is made at a time where the international community and organisations are trying to force the country to establish special courts/tribunals to charge the war heroes with the participation of judges from overseas by infringing the sovereignty of the people.

He contends that his attack on and insult to the Judiciary of the country could lead to bifurcation of complex issues faced by the country.

He states that the utterance/statement made by the Respondent ridicules and insulting to the members of the legal profession at large who are the officers of the Court also amounts to the commission of offence of Contempt of Court.

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

Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

STEAMing STEM – Moving from horoscopes to telescopes!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Walking into an inventors’ exhibition should give one an experience similar to an immersion into the future. The world change with inventions and inventors lead the change. The creativity displayed is an indicator of the creativity of the society f

There is smoke in the eyes of those who do not want to see!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Shyamon Jayasinghe, a former citizen of Sri Lanka, now living in Victoria, Australia, writing to Daily FT in a Guest Column article has given an old college try at the President of Sri Lanka by announcing about a cloaked portentous writing on the wal

Modi celebrates birthday whilst making India strong – Lesson for SL

Thursday, 20 September 2018

The Indian Prime Minister celebrated his birthday earlier this week in the backdrop of India growing at a blistering performance of 7.1%. The January-March quarter saw the highest GDP growth in the last seven quarters with India becoming the sixth la

Maximum Residue Level: Dilemma of agricultural product exporters in Sri Lanka

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Due to increased emphasis on consumer health, majority of developed countries such as EU, Japan and the US insist on MRL testing of food items which has to be done by the exporter. The Codex Alimentarius Commission which is an inter-governmental bod

Columnists More