Gota’s FR: Ranil points to ‘defect’ in court order

Gota’s FR: Ranil points to ‘defect’ in court order

May 15, 2015   05:25 pm

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Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today said that a “defect” may exist with regard to the recent Supreme Court order, preventing the arrest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, because such a stay order requires a minimum of three judges.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued an interim order preventing the former Defence Secretary’s arrest until the determination of the FR petition filed by him.

The case was taken up before a three-member judge bench comprising Justices Eva Wanasundera, Sisira De Abrew and Buwaneka Aluwihare.

However, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare decided to step down on personal grounds and therefore the petition was considered by only two judges, who postponed the hearing until October 06.

Wickremesinghe said that he has received a copy of the petition, received at the Cabinet Office, and that however he has not been served with a copy of the petition, which consists of 600 pages.

“I have received nothing from the court. I have not yet received an order. There has been no order made by the court, I have been informed as of yesterday. They may release the order today or later on,” he told reporters in Colombo.

The Prime Minister said that he has met with his lawyers, who said that on the legal maxim “justice delayed is justice denied,” if the case is taken up in October and there will be a Cabinet responsible to a new Parliament, “the question of justice delayed does come up as a serious matter which has to be taken up.”

He said that in addition they also informed him that under Article 132 Sub-Article (2) of the Constitution, “when the Supreme Court exercises its jurisdiction there must be a minimum of three judges.”   

He stated that not less than two judges can grant the leave to appeal, but a stay order requires three judges. “And therefore there can be a defect in this instance.”

The Prime Minister stated that he has instructed his lawyers to discuss the matter with the Additional Secretary of the Prime Mister’s Office and to then take it up with the Attorney General and to let him know the position in regard to this case.

“And by that time if we have an order then I will pass on the order also to my lawyers and Attorney General,” he added.   

 

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