By S. S. Selvanayagam
Court of Appeal will today take up the Writ petitions filed by former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Arjun Aloysius as well as two others contesting the warrant of arrest issued on them in respect of the Treasury bond auction scam.
The Bench comprised Justices A.H.M.D. Nawaz (President/CA) and Arjuna Obeyesekere.
Faisz Musthapha PC with Rienzie Arsecularatne PC, Shavendra Fernando PC, Senani Dayaratne, Faiza Markar, Riad Ameen instructed by Gowry Shangary Thavarasha appeared for Ravi Karunanayake.
Navin Marapana PC instructed by Sanath Wijewardana appeared for Arjun Aloysius while Manoj Bandara with Asitha Gamage instructed by Sudath Perera Associates appeared for Central Bank Employees Saman Kumara and S. Pathumanapan.
Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunatilake appeared for the Attorney General and Acting IGP.
Petitioners cited Attorney General, Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne, OIC of the Financial Investigation Unit 1 of the CID, SSP Ampavila, Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake, Registrar of Fort Magistrate’s Court as Respondents. Petitioner Ravi Karunanayake in his Petition states he has a significant role in spearheading the election campaign of the United National Party for the Parliamentary General Election that is expected to be held on 25 April 2020.
He states he also intends to contest the Parliamentary General Election to be held on 25 April 2020 and therefore the Petitioner necessarily needs to carry out an election campaign for this purpose. The Petitioner states that the Report at Section 19.5.4 of the Report refers to the meeting held on 28 March 2016. According to the Report of the Commission of Inquiry the impugned meeting was chaired by him in the capacity of Minister of Finance.
He contends that notwithstanding the fact that he was the Minister of Finance at the material time, neither the Central Bank of Sri Lanka nor the State Banks came under his purview, and neither the said banks, nor their officers, were obligated to concur or give effect to his inclinations, if any.
He states that it should be assumed that the said officers may have been acting on the directions and dictates of persons who in fact held legal powers of supervision and direction over them, and not by him.
He maintains that the he appeared before the Commission merely as a witness, and not as a person concerned and/or implicated in any of the matters investigated by the Commission.
He claims the said order of the Magistrate dated 6 March 2020, issuing the said warrant of arrest, is illegal, ultra vires and made without jurisdiction.
He disputes as such, he is entitled to a Writ of Certiorari to quash the said order of the Magistrate, dated 6 March 2020, and a Writ of Prohibition preventing the Respondents and/or any person acting under their directions, from executing the said warrant of arrest.
He is asking the Court to issue a Writ of Certiorari quashing the decisions/instructions of the Attorney General and a Writ of Prohibition restraining the Respondents and/or any persons acting under the directions of any one or more of them from executing the said warrant of arrest.
He is seeking an order from the Court to quash the certificate filed by the 4th Respondent SSP in Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court Case bearing No. B/16089/2020, purportedly acting under Section 8 of the Offences against Public Property Act, No. 12 of 1982.
He seeks an Interim Order staying the execution of the Order dated 6 March 2020 issuing a warrant of arrest against him until the final determination of the instant application.