CA re-fixes inquiry on contempt charge against GMOA President Padeniya for 10 May 

Thursday, 7 December 2017 01:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Court of Appeal yesterday re-fixed for 10 May 2018 the inquiry against Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya in respect of the alleged offence of Contempt of Court.

The bench, comprising justices L.T.B. Dehideniya (CA President) and Shiran Gooneratne, overruled the preliminary objection by the defendant and observed that it was satisfactory to issue notice.

Court also noted that the inquiry proper had not yet commenced and stated that the proper inquiry would be conducted before a new bench on 10 May next year.

The charge sheet was read to the respondent Padeniya in open court and he was issued notice to show cause as to why he should not be punished for the alleged offence. He pleaded not guilty. Gamini Marapana PC with Navin Marapana appeared for Dr. Padeniya. Upul Jayasuriya PC with Chandimal Rajapakse, Lakna Seniviratne and Reshaal Seresinghe, instructed by Chitrananda Liyanage, appeared for the petitioners. Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne appeared for the Attorney General.

The Court of Appeal had issued a summons on the GMOA President for allegedly committing the offense of Contempt of the Court of Appeal.

The Court on 5 May 2017 issued an interim order restraining and  preventing him from committing, making or publishing further contemptuous statements and articles scandalising the Court of Appeal until the conclusion of the case.

The Convener of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMS) Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya and the co-convener of the Puravesi Balaya (Citizens’ Power) Gamini Viyangoda filed the contempt application against Dr. Padeniya. 

The petitioners state that the Court of Appeal delivered the judgment on 31 January 2017 inter-alia issuing a Writ of Mandamus compelling the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to register the MBBS graduates of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) provisionally as medical practitioners and also issued a Writ of Prohibition preventing it from refusing to register the MBBS graduates of SAITM.

They state the GMOA has condemned or openly criticised the said judgment demanding it to annul or set it aside.

They further state that the GMOA has called for a national front and trade union action against SAITM following the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

They state that the GMOA on 7 April 2017 had organised a protest march and delivered a speech in which the respondent made deliberate and contemptuous statements in relation to the court process, judgment and conduct of the judges as well as the Attorney General. 

They state that in an interview, GMOA Secretary Dr. Nalinda Soysa said that the President should exercise his executive powers to quash the Appeal Court ruling.

They allege the conduct of the respondent obstructs the due administration of justice by coercing other authorities to apply pressure on the court. (SS)