Basil’s almanac case interim order extended till March 16 | Daily News

Basil’s almanac case interim order extended till March 16

The Court of Appeal yesterday further extended its Interim Order staying any further proceeding into the controversial almanac case before High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga currently presiding over Court No.6 of the Colombo High Court, until March 16.

Court of Appeal (President) Justice Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Shiran Goonaratne made this order consequent to a Transfer Application filed by former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa seeking an order staying any further proceedings into the almanac case heard before Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga.

The Court was informed that the Attorney General had filed objections against the interim order on last Monday (29).

The petitioner was directed to file his counter objections before March 15.

Rajapaksa has sought an order transferring the case from the Colombo High Court presided over by High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga to any other court of the High Court of Colombo.

Judge Kulatunga also delivered the judgment regarding the Controversial Sil Redi (fabrics used by devotees to observe sil) distribution case. Former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge and former Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Director General Anusha Palpita were sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment by the Colombo High Court for misappropriating Rs. 600 million of funds belonging to the TRC.

In his petition, Basil Rajapaksa stated that High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga was a member of the Presidential Commission (PRECIFAC) which initiated an inquiry against him. He further stated that one of the primary grounds on which the proceedings before PRECIFAC are sought to be challenged by him before the Court of Appeal complaining that he was denied a fair hearing at the purported inquiry by the PRECIFAC.

On November 15, the High Court case against two accused including former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa for allegedly misappropriating Rs.29.4 million of funds belonging to Divi Neguma Department was fixed for trial to be heard on a day-to-day basis beginning November 24 by Judge Gihan Kulatunga.

The Attorney General had filed indictments against former Minister and former Director General of Divi Neguma Department Kithsiri Ranawaka in the Colombo High Court for allegedly printing five million almanacs with the image of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, costing Rs.29.4 million, to be used as election propaganda material during January 2015 Presidential election.

Counsel Sanath Wijewardena appeared for Basil Rajapaksa. Senior State Counsel Sudarshana Silva appeared for Attorney General.

 


 

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