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Ajith Prasanna remanded over contempt of court

Ajith Prasanna remanded over contempt of court

January 24, 2020   03:51 pm

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The Colombo High Court today (24) remanded Major (Retired) Ajith Prasanna until the 7th of February over contempt of court charges, Ada Derana reporter said.

The order was delivered by High Court Judge Dhammika Ganepala when Ajith Prasanna appeared before the court complying with a notice issued on him yesterday.

The judge has ordered the prison superintendent to direct the defendant to the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) and to obtain a report on the defendant’s mental health condition.

When the case was taken up today, Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara told the court that Ajith Prasanna, who claims to be an attorney-at-law, had criticized Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga during a press conference held on January 12.

Ajith Prasanna had leveled allegations that HC Judge Kulatunga had heard the case against former Magistrate Thilina Gamage, for political reasons.

The Senior State Counsel pointed out that the retired Major could have followed a legal procedure if any irregularities exist within the judiciary without making accusations at a media briefing. Making such baseless allegations through a press conference can affect the trust that the public has placed on the judiciary, he added.

Further commenting, he has said that Ajith Prasanna must be directed to a Judicial Medical Officer for a mental health checkup.

As per Article 18 of the Judicature Act, an individual can be sentenced to a period not exceeding five years in prison over contempt of High Court. Such imprisonment can be either simple or rigorous in accordance with the ruling made by the court.

In response, Ajith Prasanna stated that he has filed a complaint with the Judicial Service Commission against HC Judge Kulatunga. However, he did not oppose to directing him for a mental health checkup.

HC Judge Dhammika Ganepala hence ruled that releasing the defendant on bail would affect the witnesses of the case and ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to record a statement from Ajith Prasanna. 

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