By Stanley Samarasinghe
The Appeal Court today (26) ordered the Minister of Industries and Commerce, Rishard Bathiudeen to show cause as to why he should not be charged for Contempt of Court and further ordered him to appear in person on 5 September.
Justice W.L. Ranjith Silva of the Court of Appeal directed the Registrar to issue forth with rule and summons under Article 105(3) of the Constitution on the respondent minister returnable on 5 September2012.
A petition was filed in court against the minister last week by seven legal practitioners for alleged threatening and intimidating of the Mannar Magistrate. President Counsel Romesh de Silva who appeared for the petitioners submitted to Court that the matter was being pursued to ensure that there will be no repetition of similar interference with the functioning of the courts in the future.
Petitioners also submitted that they sought through legal process, to ensure proper administration of justice, uphold the Rule of Law and to safeguard the independence of the judiciary.
It was further submitted to Court that all petitioners being senior lawyers of the Bar, had an enduring interest in instituting these proceedings in public interest.
In addition to the submissions made by the Counsel for the petitioners, Justice Ranjith Silva took cognizance of several documents filed in Court including the complaint made by the Magistrate of Mannar to the police, a letter issued by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in response to the letters addressed to them by the President of the Bar Association of Mannar and also by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL).
The Appeal Court Judge held there was sufficient material to issue a rule against the respondent to show cause as to why he should not be charged for contempt of Court.
Court allowed the application and ordered to have it included in the case record.
Geoffrey Alagaratnam, Dr. Sunil F.A. Cooray, Lal Wijeyanayake, Chandrapala Kumarage, E.C. Feldano, Nalini Kamalika
Manatunga, A.S.M. Perera are the petitioners. Romesh de Silva, P.C. with Ikram Mohamed P.C., G.G. Arulpragasam, Saliya Peiris, J.C. Weliamuna, Sanjeewa Jayawardena, Sugath Caldera, Eraj de Silva, Nilanga Udalagama and Milhan Mohamed Attorney-at-Law instructed Lilanthi de Silva appeared for the petitioners. courtesy: Ceylon Today