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Contempt against Sarath Silva: Justice Jayawardane recuses himself from hearing

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By S.S. Selvanayagam

Justice Priyantha Jayawardane recused himself from being a member of the Bench which is hearing the contempt of court allegation against former Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva.

The matter came up before the Bench comprising Justices Priyantha Jayawardane, Murdu N.B. Fernando and E.A.G.R. Amarasekara yesterday (7).

Court deferred the matter for 8 May.

The contempt of court petition was filed against former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva by Senior Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara, Prof. Hewa Waduge Cyril, and Senior Prof. Prashantha Gunawardena. Upul Jayasuriya PC appeared for the Petitioners. 1st Respondent Sarath Silva was present in court and represented by Counsels. Romesh de Silva PC with Sugath Caldera and Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC appeared for him. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam with Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General.

The petitioners state that on 3 December 2018, the former Chief Justice Sarath N.Silva addressed a rally at Maradana junction organised by the ‘Jathika Ekamuthuwa’ organisation, a group loyal to MP Mahinda Rajapaksa.

They impugn that the 1st Respondent Sarath Silva made his speech in utter contempt of court particularly of the Interim Order delivered by the Supreme Court on 13 November  2018 and the Interim Order delivered by the Court of Appeal on the evening of 3 December 2108.

They state the Respondent deliberately, maliciously and contemptuously made statements in relation to the Court process, the judgment and the conduct of the Court.

They point out that the said threats, insinuations, comments and statements had been uttered in public by Sarath Silva and thus the said acts amount to a gross contempt of court.

Petitioners are seeking the Court to charge him on the offence of contempt of the Supreme Court and to impose sentence on him.

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