Cases should be filed against Govt. and not against former President - President’s Counsel | Daily News
Compensation for Easter Sunday terror attacks

Cases should be filed against Govt. and not against former President - President’s Counsel

Former President Maithripala Sirisena informed the Civil Appellate Court yesterday that cases should be filed against the Government and not against him personally  for seeking compensation for the prejudice caused by the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

It also informed the Court that, according to Article 42 of the Constitution, the President is responsible only to Parliament.

President’s Counsel Faisz Mustapha appearing on behalf of former President Maithripala Sirisena presented these facts before the Court regarding this when the appeal petition filed by former President Maithripala Sirisena seeking that all the cases filed by 109 families of those who were injured, permanently disabled and prejudiced by the Easter Sunday attacks be dismissed without being heard and released him from those cases.

The President’s Counsel pointed out that the Easter Sunday attack victims have filed this case not to assign responsibility for the incident, but only to demand financial compensation.

He further stated that the case should be filed against the Government and not the President personally. The President’s Counsel further stated that only the Supreme Court can examine a Constitutional matter and it is problematic in terms of jurisdiction to hear it in a Civil Court.

The case was taken up before the Colombo Civil Appellate Court Bench comprising Colombo High Court Judges M.B.B.S. Moraes and D.F.H. Gunawardena.

The President’s Counsel pointed out that in accordance with the Constitution of the Government of Sri Lanka, it is not possible to file a case against the former President in the Civil Court and said that the responsibility according to the Constitution does not apply to the President.

He also pointed out that if these compensation cases filed by the victims were filed against the Government without being officially filed to the President, it could have the possibility to file the cases against the former President even when he is working as the President.

President’s Counsel Shamil Perera appeared on behalf of the victims. As the 19th Constitution of Sri Lanka was in force when the respondent former President was in office, the President was held responsible and the defendants including the President were responsible for the series of terrorist attacks in which more than three hundred people were killed and others were injured. The Appeal petition will be taken up again on January 24.

Relatives of those killed and injured in a series of terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday have filed a petition in the Colombo District Court seeking compensation.

Then former President Maithripala Sirisena sought an order to dismiss all cases filed by one hundred and twenty eight members of the families who were injured, permanently disabled and victimized in the Easter attack

Former President Maithripala Sirisena, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, former Director of the State Intelligence Service Nilantha Jayawardena and the Attorney General have been charged in 109 cases.

An application was made before the District Court of Colombo on behalf of the Former President Maithripala Sirisena, to be discharged from the said cases. On January 7, 2022, the Additional District Judge of Colombo District Court refused the said Application made on behalf of the Former President.

Thereafter, an Appeal Application was filed before the Colombo Civil Appellate High Court by the Former President Maithripala Sirisena challenging the order dated January 7, 2022 made by the Colombo District Court.

 


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