CA orders Ravi, six others to appear before Magistrate | Daily News


 

CA orders Ravi, six others to appear before Magistrate

The Court of Appeal yesterday issued an order directing former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Perpetual Treasury Limited (PTL) beneficiary owner Arjun Joseph Aloysius and five others to appear before the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court before 4 pm of yesterday without any restraint in connection with the issuance of Treasury Bonds in March 2016.

The Colombo Fort Magistrate was directed to acknowledge seven petitioners’ presence at the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court.

However, the Court of Appeal ordered the Magistrate not take any further order in respect of the petitioners until the Court of Appeal makes an order on the issuance of notices.

The Court of Appeal three-judge-bench comprising Justice (President) A.H.M.D. Nawaz, Justice Shiran Gunaratne and Justice Sobhitha Rajakaruna made this order pursuant to the writ petitions filed by Ravi Karunanayake and six others who sought an Interim Order to stay arrest warrant issued against them by Colombo Fort Magistrate. The Court of Appeal observed that court is delivering this order for the best interest of both petitioners and prosecution.

In accordance with the Court of Appeal order, seven petitioners who had been named as suspects in the Magistrate’s Court former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, PTL beneficiary owner Arjun Aloysius, PTL Chief dealer Kasun Palisena, PTL Chairman Jeffrey Joseph Aloysius, Chitta Ranjan Hulugalle, S. Pathumanapan and Indika Saman Kumara were present before Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday evening. They left court premises after acknowledging their presence before Court.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal observed that law enforcement authorities have no barrier to execute the warrant in the event of any petitioner failed to make their appearance before the Magistrate’s Court within the stipulated time period mentioned in the order.

President’s Counsel Navin Marapana appearing for Arjun Aloysius submitted to court that the prosecution had acted in a mala-fide manner with the intention of keeping his client behind bars without granting bail for a long period of time. He further stated that his client Arjun Aloysius was held in remand custody for a period of one year when he was arrested in connection with Treasury Bond Transaction in February 2015. Mr. Marapana moved court to issue an order preventing his client being arrested through an illegal warrant.

Meanwhile, Senior Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunatilleke appearing for the Attorney General sought a sufficient time period to respond to the arguments made on the question of laws by the petitioners. The Court of Appeal took the view that the question of law would be decided after Attorney General has concluded his submissions.

Seven writ petitions will be taken up for support again on March 17.

The Attorney General had earlier raised preliminary objections against the writ petitions alleging that the petitioners have not come with clean hands to the Court.

In his preliminary objections, the Attorney General moved court that the notices be refused in limine.

In his petition, Ravi Karunanayake has named Attorney General, Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne, SSP Ampavila, Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake and OIC attached to the Financial Investigation Unit of CID as respondents. He reiterates that Bond Commission appointed to investigate Treasury Bond issuance never questioned the petitioner regarding the meeting held on March 28, 2016 and March 30, 2016 and any alleged link between the said meetings and the lease of the apartment.

The petitioner said the instructions given by Attorney General dated March 3, 2020 was issued within a few hours of the dissolution of Parliament on March 2, 2020. Ravi Karunanayake stated that the communication issued by Attorney General is in excess of the powers conferred on the Attorney General under and in terms of Section 393(3)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act. The petitioner said the communication issued by Attorney General deprives the petitioner of a fair and impartial inquiry.

The petitioner further complained that Colombo Fort Magistrate did not allow his counsel to make a submission against the arrest warrant during the magisterial inquiry in contravention to the rules of natural justice and the provisions contained in the Judicature Act.

The petitioner further stated that the petitioner has learnt that Colombo Fort Magistrate in another case (B/8266/2018) which related to the issuance of treasury bonds forming the subject matter of the Bond Commission recused himself on November 8, 2018 from hearing the same when it was brought to his notice by the counsel for the prosecution including State Counsel Udara Karunatilake who appeared for the prosecution on March 4, 2020 that the Fort Magistrate’s wife is working at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, making it inappropriate fort the Magistrate to continue hearing the case and referred the case to the Judicial Service Commission to nominate another Magistrate to hear the case.

 


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