Former president given time to file objections | Daily News


 

Presidential pardon for Gnanasara Thera

Former president given time to file objections

The Supreme Court yesterday granted three weeks for former President Maithripala Sirisena to file limited objections (if necessary) against two Fundamental Rights petitions filed challenging his decision to grant pardon to Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera.

The petitioners were directed to file limited counter objections within three weeks. Accordingly, a Supreme Court three-judge bench comprising Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya, Justice Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice S. Thurairaja fixed the two petitions for support on June 26.

Former President Maithripala was represented by President’s Counsel Faizer Musthapha since Attorney General is not appearing for him.

These petitions had been filed by Centre for Policy Alternative (CPA) and Sandhya Ekneligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda.

Gnanasara Thera was jailed for six years after being found guilty of contempt of court over his conduct during a court hearing at Homagama Magistrate’s Court regarding the case of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda.

On May 23, 2019, Gnanasara Thera was released from Welikada prison after receiving a letter from the Presidential Secretariat granting him a pardon.

In their petition, the CPA and its Executive Director P. Saravanamuttu stated that the decision to grant a pardon to Gnanasara Thera was a threat to judicial integrity and undermined the authority of court. They sought a declaration that the petitioners’ fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 12(1) of the Constitution have been violated. On October 5, 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal judgement that found Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera guilty over his contemptuous behaviour inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court on January 25, 2016.

On August 2018, Gnanasara Thera was sentenced to 19 years’ rigorous imprisonment, to be served concurrently within six years, by the Court of Appeal over his contemptuous behaviour inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court.

Senior Counsel Viran Corea with counsel Asthika Devendra, counsel Manjula Balasuriya, Bhawani Fonseka and Lasantha Gurusinghe appeared for the petitioners. Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva appeared for Gnanasara Thera. Faizer Musthapha, PC, appeared for former President Maithripala Sirisena.

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Granting Presidential pardon for Gnanasara thera: MS given time to file objections  (14:50)

The Supreme Court today granted three weeks time for former President Maithripala Sirisena to file limited objections, (if necessary) against two Fundamental Rights petitions filed challenging former President’s decision to grant pardon Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera.

The petitioners were directed to file limited counter objections within three weeks. Accordingly, Supreme Court three-judge-bench comprising Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya, Justice Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice S. Thurairaja fixed the two petitions for support on June 26.  

Former President Maithripala was represented by President’s Counsel Faizer Musthapha since Attorney General is not appearing for him.

These petitions had been filed by Centre for Policy Alternative (CPA) and Sandhya Ekneligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda.


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