Minister Rishad Bathiyudeen’s Leave for appeal in the Supreme Court postponed for 18th March
Chief Justice Mohan Peiris said he would not sit on the bench hearing the petition filed by Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, for leave of appeal in the Supreme Court against the contempt of court proceedings on him at the Court of Appeal.
The Chief Justice presiding over a three judges bench said that the former Chief Justice has said that she doesn't want to hear the case and wanted a new bench constituted and he said that he also agreed that he should also not hear this case and he is making order that a new bench be constituted.
Earlier in the Court of Appeal, upon a petition signed by about 7 lawyers that the Minister by his act and conduct has committed contempt of court allegedly threatening and intimidating the Mannar Magistrate.
An objection was taken that act or acts and the complaint against the Minister doesn't constitute a contempt of court.
Legal submissions were made in that regard by counsels but the Court of Appeal rejected and fixed the matter for inquiry for 13th of February.
The questions of law that was referred to the Supreme Court by way of leave for appeal were that -
1. Decision is coming out with entirely hearsay
2. The charge itself is vague
3. Offences are not known to law.
And also one more point was raised in the Court of Appeal that the petitioners have no locus standing but this was not referred in the leave for appeal filed in the Supreme Court.
The matter came up before a three member judge’s bench of the Supreme Court, consisting of Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, Justice Sathya Hettige, and Justice P.A.Ratnayake.
Chief Justice Mohan Pieris who presided in the three judge’s bench also said that he is ordering for a different bench constituted and put it off for 18th of March.
But in the meantime, it was also notified that the Court of Appeal which has fixed this case for inquiry for 13th of February to await the Supreme Court decision.
Mr. Romesh De Silva PC, the Petitioners’ Counsel in the case in the Court of Appeal was present and he has said that he has no problem in the case in the Court of Appeal being postponed till the Supreme Court’s new bench is constituted and decision taken.
Saliya Pieris appeared for the group of lawyers who had originally complained to the Court of Appeal.
Counsels Faiz Mustapah PC, M.M. Zuhair PC, Razik Zarook PC, Rumy Marzook PC, Kalinga Indatissa PC .Kushant De Alwis PC, Palitha Kumarasinghe PC, Anura Meththadoda , N.K.Sahied, Gazaali Hussaien Ms. Nishmi Godellawatte, and Hejaz Hisbullah appeared on behalf of Minsiter Rishad Bathiyutheen in the Supreme Court.
- Asian Tribune -