Contempt of court action against Dr.Padeniya fixed for inquiry | Daily News

Contempt of court action against Dr.Padeniya fixed for inquiry

The contempt of court case filed against Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya for allegedly undermining the Court of Appeal judgement delivered regarding the SAITM issue was yesterday fixed for inquiry by Court of Appeal.

Accordingly, Court of Appeal Justice Arjuna Obeysekara fixed the matter for inquiry on May 22 in order to lead evidence regarding the contempt of court action.

On December 6, 2017, the Court of Appeal decided to overrule the preliminary objections raised by Dr. Padeniya.

The Court of Appeal had observed that there are sufficient materials to issue a rule against Dr.Anuruddha Padeniya in respect of a charge sheet filed against him over contemptuous statements.

At a previous occasion, a charge sheet was served on GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya by Court of Appeal for allegedly undermining the Court of Appeal judgment dated January 31, 2017 which was delivered compelling the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to register the MBBS graduates of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine Limited (SAITM) provisionally as medical practitioners in terms of the Medical Ordinance.

However, Dr. Padeniya through his lawyers had informed the Court of Appeal that his client was not pleading guilty to the charge sheet when it was read out by the Court stenographer.

The Court of Appeal had also issued an Interim Order (IO) preventing the GMOA President from making or publishing further contemptuous statements/articles scandalising the Court of Appeal until the final determination of this contempt of court action.

Two civil society activists Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya, the Convener of National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) and Gamini Viyangoda, the Co-Convener of the Puravesi Balaya Social Movement had filed this contempt of Court action naming GMOA President Dr.Anuruddha Padeniya as the respondent.

The petitioners stated that upon the delivery of the said judgment by the Court of Appeal, the GMOA has condemned and openly criticised the said judgement demanding to annulment or setting aside of the said judgement.

The petitioners further stated that in this backdrop the GMOA headed by Dr.Padeniya has called for a national front and trade union action against SAITM following Court decision in ordering SAITM medical graduates to be registered with the SLMC.

The petitioners stated that on or about April 7, 2017 the GMOA had organised island wide trade union action against SAITM halting all health services including private practice and private health services to stress on the Government to abolish SAITM.

The petitioners stated that the contemptuous statements and comments demonstrate the blatant hatred of the respondent and publication of the same in the said speech indubitably disturbs the Court process and hampers and undermines the authority of the Court of Appeal in respect of the administration of justice especially in view of the fact that the said speech was published and telecast on several medias and has been uttered by the respondent in a public meeting held under topic of “Abolish the SAITM” on April 4, 2017.

The petitioners are pleading that Dr.Padeniya be charged on the offence of Contempt of Court of Appeal under Article 105 (3) of the Constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka. They are further seeking an Interim Order restraining and preventing the GMOA President from committing, making or publishing further contemptuous statements/articles scandalizing the Court of Appeal until the conclusion of this case. They further urge to impose sentence on the respondent as provided for in Article 105(3) of the Constitution.

President’s Counsel Upul Jayasuriya with Counsel Reshaal Sachintha Serasinghe appeared for the petitioners. President's Counsel Gamini Marapana with Counsel Ravindranath Dabare appeared for the respondent.


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