Accused ordered to file written submissions | Daily News


‘Sil Redi’ distribution case

Accused ordered to file written submissions

The Court of Appeal yesterday directed the parties involved in the appeal petitions pertaining to ‘Sil Redi’ distribution case to file their written submissions before September 23.

Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Kumuduni Wickremasinghe and Justice Devika Abeyratne made this order when the two separate appeals filed by former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and former Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Director General Anusha Palpita were taken up for argument yesterday.

In his oral submissions, Deputy Solicitor-General Thusith Mudalige, appearing on behalf of the Attorney-General, stated that dishonest intention of the accused was the main factor of this case. He said public funds at TRC had been remitted with verbal consent in a dishonest manner.

He further argued that in terms of section 22 (F) of the TRC Act, funds can be only utilized for the expenditure of the commission itself. Further arguments fixed for September 10.

Former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and former TRC Director-General Anusha Palpita had been sentenced to three-year-rigorous imprisonment by Colombo High Court for misappropriating Rs.600 million of funds belonging to the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.

On September 7, 2017, Lalith Weeratunga and Anusha Palpita were found guilty of misappropriating Rs.600 million of funds belonging to TRC over Controversial ‘Sil Redi’ (fabrics used by devotees to observe sill) distribution case.

Through their appeal applications, two accused-appellants stated that they were seeking the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal to review and set aside their conviction imposed by the High Court dated September 7, 2017.

In their petitions, the accused-appellants stated that neither a sum of Rs.600 million nor a part of it was utilized by them for their personal gains. They further stated that the High Court judge had given them a short period of time (13 days) to pay off the compensations.

Each accused were further ordered to pay a fine of Rs.2 million and, in default of the payment of fine, they will have to serve additional one-year imprisonment.

President’s Counsel Faiz Musthapha with Shavindra Fernando, Counsel Kanchana Ratwatte and Janaka Ranatunga appeared on behalf of the appellant-accused. Deputy Solicitor-General Thusith Mudalige appeared on behalf of the Attorney-General.

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