Revision petition against Rajitha’s bail re-fixed for inquiry | Daily News


 

White van press conference

Revision petition against Rajitha’s bail re-fixed for inquiry

A revision application filed by the Attorney General challenging the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s order to grant bail on Minister Rajitha Senaratne in connection with the controversial White Van Press Conference was yesterday re-fixed for inquiry by Colombo High Court.

When the matter was taken up before High Court Judge Manjula Thillekaratne, Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris appearing for the Attorney General sought an adjournment into the inquiry since he was not in good health.

On January 21, the Colombo High Court decided to formally issue notices on former Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne regarding this revision application citing that there are sufficient materials to proceed with the revision application.

The Attorney General filed this revision application challenging the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court order dated December 30, 2019 to grant bail to Parliamentarian 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 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, Attorney General informed court that he would not seek an interim order at this juncture.

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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