AG’s revision application against bail for Rajitha fixed for inquiry | Daily News


AG’s revision application against bail for Rajitha fixed for inquiry

The Colombo High Court yesterday decided to issue notices on former Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne regarding a revision application filed by the Attorney General in connection with the controversial ‘White Van’ press conference.

While observing that there was sufficient materials to proceed with the revision application filed challenging the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court order to grant bail to MP Senaratne, High Court Judge Manjula Thillekaratne fixed the petition to be taken up for inquiry on March 5.

Meanwhile, Colombo High Court issued an order directing the registrar of Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court that original case proceedings pertaining to ‘White Van’ press conference case be forwarded to the Colombo High Court. The respondent party (MP Senaratne) was directed to file written objection against the revision application on January 23.

The Attorney General filed this revision application challenging Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court order dated December 30, 2019 to grant bail to MP Rajitha Senaratne.

The Attorney General sought the High Court’s jurisdiction to revise the Chief Magistrate’s bail order citing the Chief Magistrate had failed to call a medical report pertaining to Senaratne’s health condition.

The Deputy Solicitor General appearing for the Attorney General alleged that the Chief Magistrate had given an order to release the suspect on bail on an occasion where police have not recorded any statement from the suspect regarding the incident.

He further alleged that Senaratne could be charged for committing a punishable offence under the Presidential Election Act No 15 of 1981 for influencing a rival candidate’s vote base during the Presidential Election.

In reply, President’s Counsel Anil de Silva had submitted to the court that all the allegations levelled against his client were bailable offences. He denied the allegation that his client evaded courts. He moved court to dismiss the petition in-limine without issuing notices to the respondent.

In his application, the Attorney General is seeking an Interim Order to stay the bail order made by the Colombo Chief Magistrate on December 30 and commit the suspect to remand custody. However, the Attorney General informed court that he would not seek an interim order now. Former Minister Rajitha Senaratne was arrested in connection with organising the white van press conference on November 10 ahead of the Presidential election. He was later released on two sureties of Rs.500,000 by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayarathne. In her bail order, the Chief Magistrate observed that according to the Criminal Procedure Code, the charges levelled against MP Senaratne were bailable offences.

Former State Pharmaceuticals Corporation Chairman Mohommed Rumi Mohommed Azeem and two other individuals, namely Sakalawalli Arachchige Sarath Kumara and Athula Sanjeewa Madanayake, who had allegedly been involved in the incident were also released on bail.


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