By S. S. Selvanayagam
Justice Kumudini Wickramasinghe yesterday recused herself from being a member of the Court of Appeal Bench, which is taking up the Writ petition filed by former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Petitioner Gotabhaya filed his Writ petition contesting the order of the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar which is hearing the D. A. Rajapaksa Museum Case.
The Bench comprising Justices Kumudini Wickramasinghe and Mahinda Samayawardhana deferred the Writ Petition for 5 July.
Petitioner cited sitting judges of the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar Sampath Abhayakoon (President), Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Janaki Rajaratne as well as the Attorney General as Respondents.
Romesh de Silva PC with Ali Shabry PC, Sugath Caldera, Ruwantha Cooray, and Harith de Mel instructed by Sanath Wijeyawardane appeared for the Petitioner.
Deputy Solicitors General Milinda Gunatilleke and Dileep Peiris appeared for the Attorney General.
The Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar in its order had overruled the preliminary objection raised by the former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya and six accused in the said case.
Romesh de Silva PC had raised the preliminary objection on the jurisdiction of the Court. The High Court overruled the preliminary objection and fixed the case for 9 October.
Petitioner Gotabhaya in his Writ Petition seeks the Court to quash the order made by the High Court on 20 February rejecting his plea under and in terms of Judicature (amendment) Act No. 9 of 2018.
He laments that the sitting judges did not give him an opportunity to be heard prior to said order dated 20 February.