|Friday, 2 July 2004|
by Sarath Malalasekera and Wasantha Ramanayake
The Five Judge Bench of the Supreme Court which was to hear the inquiry into the contempt charges against former Agriculture, Livestock and Samurdhi Minister S.B. Dissanayake yesterday observed that the medical certificate submitted by Dissanayake to court through his Senior Counsel could not be accepted as it was not from a Government Medical Hospital or any other hospital that can be recognised and accepted as rendering urgent medical treatment.
The Bench Comprised Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, PC, Justice Dr. Shirani A. Bandaranayake, Justice T.B. Weerasuriya, Justice Nimal Dissanayake and Justice Raja Fernando.
Former UNP Minister Dissanayake was not present in court yesterday when the case was called. The case was specially fixed to hear on September 14, 2004.
Perusing the medical certificate issued by Dr. Ariyasena U. Gamage of the Gamage Hospital, Beligammana, Mawanella, the Chief Justice observed that the medical certificate issued on June 30 stated that Dissanayake has been diagnosed with suffering from viral fever and that he is warded and not in good health to attend court on July 1, 2004.
The Chief Justice said that Court could not accept the Medical certificate submitted on behalf of Dissanayake for three reasons - it is not issued by a Government Medical Hospital or any other hospital that can be recognised and accepted as rendering urgent medical treatment.
The certificate has not stated when the respondent was taken ill and it does not state how long it is excepted that the respondent would be unwell.
However, the Court observed that since the respondent is absent Court is not inclined to proceed in his absence, in the first instance. Court would grant the postponement that is sought.
The Court is of the view that this kind of medical certificate would not be accepted in the future and that in the absence of exception and compelling reasons, court would proceed with this inquiry even if the respondent is not present.
The Chief Justice said the video recording of the speech could be viewed by the both counsel on the next date. Respondent Dissanayake earlier admitted certain sections of the speech he made at the Vap Magul ceremony in Habaraduwa on November 3, 2003, when it was read out to him by Ms. Geetha Tharanga Mitipola of the Judicial Service Commission in open court.
But he denied using the words 'Balu Nadu Theenduwa,' in his speech. Some sections of the speech had been distorted, Dissanayake said. Dissanayake also said that he cannot recollect whether he uttered the words that 'he will not accept the judgement of the Court.'
The witnesses were also directed to be present on the next date. Solicitor General C.R. de Silva, PC with Senior State Counsel Kapila Waidyaratne and Ms. Harippriya Jayasundera appeared for the Attorney General.
President's Counsel Romesh de Silva with A.P. Niles, Maithri Wickremasinghe, Chandana Perera and Sugath Caldera instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam appeared for respondent Dissanayake.
Produced by Lake House