|Friday, 28 January 2005|
by Sarath Malalasekera
The Registrar of the Court of Appeal has no legal right to issue notice on any citizen of this country on a copy of a complaint made to the police regarding a contempt matter.
These observations were made by President's Counsel Wijedasa Rajapakse before the Court of Appeal Judges, Justice Gamini A. M. Abeyratne and Justice S. I. Imam yesterday.
President's Counsel Rajapakse who appeared for ASP G. C. Widisinghe of the Special Investigations Unit in a contempt matter submitted to Court that the registrar had issued notice on his client on a complaint made by the Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge to the police in connection with certain matters arising out of the case against MP Ravi Karunanayake.
The President's Counsel in his lengthy submissions moving Court to release his client, said when ASP Widisinghe is not charged on any count, how could the registrar issue notice on ASP Widisinghe to appear in Court on a contempt charge.
ASP Widisinghe is a Senior Police officer and had no reasons to make any remark in contempt of Court.
The Court issued notice on ASP Widisinghe to appear before Court on a complaint made by the Colombo Fort Magistrate to police. He had appeared on three occasions. It was highly illegal for the registrar to issue notice on his client in connection with a matter arising out of case before the Magistrate.
According to the complaint, ASP Widisinghe had inquired from the Court Sergeant whether Prof. G. L. Peiris and Dr. Rajitha Senaratne went into the Magistrate's Chambers on the day Karunanayake's case was taken up. The ASP totally denied that he inquired about Prof. Peiris or Dr. Senaratne from any police officer.
The President's Counsel said a police officer attached to the Magistrate's Court had told ASP Widisinghe that Prof. Peiris and Dr. Senaratne had some discussion with the Magistrate.
An Attorney on behalf of the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka informed Court that the BASL President is not appearing in this matter.
At this stage, the President's Counsel said the BASL President should not appear in this matter. This is merely a malicious complaint against ASP Widisinghe.
Produced by Lake House