The Supreme Court, yesterday, issued a restraining order preventing Nagananda Kodituwakku from practising as a lawyer for three years.
A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Nalin Perera, Justices Sisira de Abrew and Prasanna Jayawardena issued the order over a 2015 defamation case.
The case was filed by Justice Vijith Malalgoda, while he was the President of the Court of Appeal.
The Supreme Court initiated a disciplinary inquiry in respect of attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku’s conduct in the Court of Appeal on May 21, 2015 before the then President of the Court of Appeal justice Vijith Malalgoda, PC and justice H. C.J. Madawala, based on the complaint.
Justice Prasanna Jayawardena, who read the verdict, said that the actions of Kodituwakku had tarnished the image of the judiciary and would lead to public losing faith in the institution. Kodituwakku, on March 13, declared that he would withdraw the allegations he had levelled at Malalgoda and tendered an apology. “However, the Supreme Court is compelled to give this verdict, given the grievous nature of Kodituwakku’s statement,” Justice Jayawardena said.
During the proceedings, which commenced in 2017, Kodituwakku, who holds Sri Lankan and British dual citizenship, was told to show cause why he shouldn’t be suspended or removed from the Office of Attorney-at-Law in accordance with Section 42 (2) of the Judicature Act No 02 of 1978 read with Supreme Court rules (Part Vll) of 1978 made in line with Article 136 of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court has listed four specific allegations on the basis of submissions made by Kodituwakku on May 21, 2015 in respect of a case filed by two persons against the Director General of Customs in the Court of Appeal seeking the transfer of the case to a different bench. Having examined the representations made by the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court, the latter declared, in summons issued to Kodituwakku, that his submissions were contemptuous and his conduct disgraceful, dishonourable, deplorable and essentially unworthy of an attorney-at-law.