Contempt action on Ven. Gnanasara: Court of Appeal defers matter for 11 Jan.

Saturday, 19 November 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Court of Appeal yesterday (18) granted time to file preliminary objection by the Respondent with the contempt matter against Ven. Gnanasara Thero.

The Bench comprising Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda and Justice S. Thurairajah fixed the matter to be taken up on 11 January next year.

The Court of Appeal on 27 September directed the Attorney General to consider to amend the summons if necessary against the Ven. Gnanasara Thera with particulars of his alleged offensive conduct with regard to the language and his gestures in the Homagama Magistrate’s Court.

Court had also directed the parties to file Written Submissions on or before 18 November.

Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake filed a Contempt of Court action in the Court of Appeal against Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera seeking the Appeal Court’s constitutional jurisdiction against Ven. Gnasara Thera’s alleged offensive behavior in the Homagama Magistrate’s Court amounting to Contempt of Court on 25 January.

On 25 January, Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera began to address Open Court after the Court hearing pertaining to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda was over. Later on, Ven. Gnanasara Thera was arrested by Police on the charges of Contempt of Court, obstructing Court proceedings and intimidating a public servant.

Through this contempt of Court action, the Homagama Magistrate has sought the Appeal Court’s jurisdiction to consider whether the alleged offensive behavior of Ven. Gnanasara Thera inside the Court amounts to Contempt of Court.

He further sought Court’s jurisdiction to take necessary legal action against Ven. Gnanasara Thera if the charges levelled against him amount to Contempt of Court.

Manohara de Silva PC appeared for the Accused Thero. Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya appeared for the Attorney General as Amicus Curiae (friend of the Court, the one who assists the Court by furnishing information or advice regarding questions of law or fact).