The Supreme Court by Order dated 3 May 2019 stayed the prosecution of Dr. Sena Yaddehige by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Dr. Sena Yaddehige has at all times maintained his innocence and has made his submissions to the SEC, stating that the SEC should not in any way or manner prosecute him, a statement from the company said.
Notwithstanding his submissions, the SEC launched a prosecution in the Fort Magistrates Court, despite a matter pending in the Court Of Appeal relating to the same. The Supreme Court, having considered submissions, has granted a Stay Order, staying the proceedings of the Magistrates Court and the Court of Appeal.
In the Supreme Court, instead of dealing with the merits of the Application, the SEC took up a Preliminary Objection that the affidavit filed by Dr. Yaddehige is not valid in terms of the law. Counsel for Dr. Yaddehige submitted that the affidavit is in terms of the law, and further submitted that this is not a matter to be decided on technicalities, as this is a case to where important considerations of law are at issue. Dr. Yaddehige impugns the failure to disclose an offence known to law, the invalidity of the investigations conducted by the SEC, the arbitrary and unfair conduct of the SEC as a regulator of the capital markets, and the power of the SEC in respect of the conduct toward Dr. Yaddehige, among others.
Dr. Sena Yaddehige is the Chairman of Richard Pieris Group, which is a major contributor to the economy by giving employment to 31,000 employees across the country. Further, as the largest tea and rubber producer in the country, Richard Pieris Group is one of the highest foreign currency earners to the country directly and indirectly.