By S .S. Selvanayagam
The Court of Appeal yesterday reserved for 8 August its judgment on the alleged offence of Contempt of Court against Ven. Gnanasara Thero.
The Bench comprised Justices P. Padman Surasena (President/CA) and Arjuna Obeysekera.
Senior Counsel Manohara de Silva with Anusha Perusinghe appeared for Ven. Gnanasara Thero. Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya appeared for the Attorney General as Amicus Curiae.
Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake filed a Contempt of Court action in the Court of Appeal against Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera, seeking the Appeal Court’s constitutional jurisdiction against Ven. Gnanasara Thera’s alleged offensive behaviour in the Homagama Magistrate’s Court, amounting to Contempt of Court, on 25 January 2016.
On 25 January 2016, Ven. Gnanasara Thera began to address the Open Court after the court hearing pertaining to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda was over. Later on, Ven. Gnanasara Thera was arrested by Police on the charges of Contempt of Court, obstructing Court proceedings and intimidating a public servant.
Through this Contempt of Court action, the Homagama Magistrate has sought the Appeal Court’s jurisdiction to consider whether the alleged offensive behaviour of Ven. Gnanasara Thera inside the Court amounts to Contempt of Court.
He further sought the Court’s jurisdiction to take necessary legal action against Ven. Gnanasara Thera, if the charges levelled against him amount to Contempt of Court.
Manohara de Silva PC appeared for the Accused, Ven. Gnanasara Thero. Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya appeared for the Attorney General as Amicus Curiae (lit., “friend of the court”: one who assists the Court by furnishing information or advice regarding questions of law or fact.)