Fonseka Fundamental Rights application:
No interim relief
*Allowed visits by close relatives, lawyers
* Can sign nomination papers
The Supreme Court refused an application for interim relief to
release General Sarath Fonseka, the third applicant in a Fundamental
Rights petition, after submissions by the Senior Defence Counsel and the
Attorney General yesterday. The Bench Comprising Acting Chief Justice
Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, Justice Jagath Balapatabendi and Justice K.
Sripavan also rejected the affidavits submitted before Court in respect
of this application.
ďWe are of the views that this Court is not in a position at this
stage to grant relief to the application as prayed for in the
application. In the circumstance the Court refused the application
prayed for by the petition for an interim relief,Ē Acting Chief Justice
Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake said.
Dr Shirani Bandaranayake also told Counsel that the case was being
called yesterday only to consider the matter of Interim Relief prayed
for by Petitioner. Hence, they should confine their submissions only in
respect of Interim Relief.
The Court refused the interim relief on the basis that the interim
relief prayed for is being linked to the final relief sought by the
third petitioner General Fonseka.
At the outset Attorney General Presidentís Counsel Mohan Peiris
agreed to the relief sought by Senior Defence Counsel Presidentís
Counsel Shibly Aziz including visits to third petitioner by his wife
Anoma and his immediate relatives, lawyers who need his assistance to
sign any legal documents, including his nomination papers for the
forthcoming General Election, to speak to his daughter, who are abroad,
over the telephone and medical assistance by a special medical team.
The Attorney-General submitted that an inquiry called summary of
evidence is progressing and will be concluded in three weeks.
The Army Commander would then decide whether to release or continue
to prosecute Fonseka.
The Attorney General objected to the granting of interim relief since
it is the same as final relief he had sought.
He also moved Court to dismiss the Fundamental Rights application
before Court as it had failed to comply with the law.
The Court also made an order to the Registrar of the Supreme Court to
obtain the report in connection with the statement made by General
Sarath Fonseka to the Human Rights Commission.
Two Counsel for the respondents, S.L. Gunasekera and Sanjeewa
Jayawardena associated with the submissions made by the Attorney
At this stage Acting Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake observed
that the leave to proceed in this Fundamental Application had been
granted earlier. The Supreme Court Bench also refused the affidavits
filed in respect of this application and directed the case to be called
on April 26 for argument in respect of the main application.
Presidentís Counsel Shibly Aziz in his lengthy submittance moving for
the release of his client, said that his client needs several urgent
medical attention and to release him on conditional or unconditional
The Presidentís Counsel said that his client had been dragged out of
his office at Royal Avenue on the day of the incident. This is highly
illegal. According to seriousness of the incident there is a serious
threat to his life. The Army officer who came to arrest his client had
taken very serious steps to arrest him violating his Fundamental Rights.
The petitioner cited Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, Officer
in Charge of Colombo Security Maj. Gen. Sumith Manawadu, Defence
Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Head of the Military Police Military
Marshal Brig. Wijesiri and the Attorney General as respondents.
Earlier the Supreme Court granted leave to proceed with the
Fundamental Rights Application filed before Court by Ms. Anoma Fonseka
and Ms. Shamila Perera.
Presidentís Counsel Shibly Aziz, Senior Counsel for the petitioners
citing several authorities submitted that the Supreme Court had widened
its Fundamental Rights jurisdiction beyond what is stated in the
Attorney General Presidentís Counsel Mohan Peiris, Deputy Solicitor
General Sanjey Rajaratnam with Senior State Counsel A. Nawaz and Senior
State Counsel Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General.
Presidentís Counsel Shibly Aziz with Presidentís Counsel Wijedasa
Rajapaksa, Ronald Perera, Upul Jayasuriya, Viran Corea and Chrisma
Warnasuriya appeared for petitioners.
Senior Attorney at Law S.L. Gunasekera instructed by Sudath Perera
Associates appeared for Major General Sumith Manawadu who is in-charge
of Security in Colombo. Senior Attorney Sanjeewa Jayawardena instructed
by Sudath Perera Associates appeared for the Head of the Military