CA says not to arrest Pilapitiya without order of competent court

Friday, 21 February 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Court of Appeal yesterday declared that interdicted High Court Judge Gihan Pilapitiya shall not be arrested without an order from a competent court of law.

A bench comprising Justices A.H.M.D Nawaz (CA President) and Arjuna Obeyesekere fixed for support the writ petition filed by High Court Judge Gihan Pilapitiya on 12 May. 

High Court Judge Pilapitiya, in his personal capacity, filed a writ petition seeking the intervention of the Court of Appeal to prevent his imminent arrest.

The petitioner cited the acting IGP and the Attorney General as respondents.

The petitioner stated that the Coordinating Secretary of the Attorney General’s Department had said that the Attorney General had directed the petitioner to be arrested.

He maintained that it was unlawful to arrest him.

He argued that the Attorney General had no power or authority to direct the Police to arrest him.

He stated that the power or authority to arrest him lay solely with the Police officer effecting such a potential arrest.

He also said that he was unaware of the offence he is alleged to have committed. Furthermore, he said that he was aware that there had been information filed in terms of Section 110 in the Magistrate’s Court of Nugegoda calling upon the Magistrate to investigate the matter.

He stated that there was no offence disclosed against him.

In these circumstances, he maintains that he cannot be arrested in relation to any conversations recorded between him and Member of Parliament Ranjan Ramanayake.

He states that any decision to arrest him in relation to the said conversation would be incorrect and unlawful.

He states that grave and irreparable harm and damage will be caused to him, the rule of law, the independence of the Judiciary, the public and the judicial process.

He says that he filed his application to safeguard his personal liberty as well as in the interest of preserving the independence of the Judiciary and the integrity, independence and dignity of judicial officers.

He, among other things, is seeking an order from Court to quash the order of the Attorney General to the acting IGP calling for his arrest.

Romesh De Silva PC instructed by Sanath Wijewardane appeared for the petitioner. Senior Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunetilleke appeared for the acting IGP. Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General. Director Legal of the Police Department DIG Ajith Rohana represented the Acting IGP in Court.