By Manopriya Gunasekera
The Supreme Court yesterday issued an Interim Order preventing the Special High Court Trial-at-Bar from hearing the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum case filed against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and seven others until 1 October.
The order was delivered by the Supreme Court three-judge bench consisting of Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Gamini Amarasekara, and S. Thurairajah, considering an appeal filed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The case against the former Defence Secretary and seven others was filed by the Attorney General, for allegedly misappropriating State funds amounting to Rs. 33.9 million during the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial in Medamulana.
The Special High Court Trial-at-Bar rejected the preliminary objections filed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, stating that it does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case.
The former Defence Secretary then lodged a Revision Petition with the Court of Appeal, seeking an Order suspending the rejection of his appeal. However, the Appeals Court ruled that it does not have the jurisdiction to hear the Revision Petition, and hence, rejected it without taking it up.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa then filed a Special Appeal Petition with the Supreme Court, challenging the Appeals Court verdict. The Supreme Court on Thursday decided to take up the Petition, and issued an Interim Order against the Special High Court hearing the case until the Petition is next taken up on 1 October.