Judge declines in Padeniya case | Daily News

Judge declines in Padeniya case

Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Janak de Silva, yesterday declined to sit on the bench hearing the Contempt of Court action filed against Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya. When the case came up before the Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Janak de Silva and Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne, Justice de Silva declined to sit on the bench pertaining to the contempt of court application filed against Dr.Padeniya for allegedly undermining the Court of Appeal judgement delivered regarding the SAITM issue.

The Court of Appeal decided to refer this application to the attention of the Court of Appeal President in order to arrange a new Bench.This case is to be taken up again on June 14.

On December 6, 2017, the Court of Appeal decided to overrule preliminary objections raised by Dr. Padeniya.

The Court of Appeal had earlier observed that there was sufficient material to issue a rule against Dr.Anuruddha Padeniya in respect of a charge sheet filed against him over contemptuous statements.

On a previous occasion, a charge sheet was served on GMOA President Dr.Anuruddha Padeniya by the Court of Appeal for allegedly undermining the Court of Appeal judgment dated January 31, 2017 which was delivered compelling the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to register the MBBS graduates of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine Limited (SAITM) provisionally as medical practitioners in terms of the Medical Ordinance.

However, Dr. Padeniya through his lawyers had informed the Court of Appeal that he was not pleading guilty to the charge sheet when it was read out by the Court stenographer.

The Court of Appeal had also issued an Interim Order (IO) preventing the GMOA President from making or publishing further contemptuous statements and articles scandalising the Court of Appeal until the final determination of this contempt of court action. Two civil society activists, Prof. Sarath Wijesuriya, Convener of the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) and Gamini Viyangoda, Co-convener of the Puravesi Balaya (Citizens’ Power) social movement, had filed this Contempt of Court action naming GMOA President Dr.Anuruddha Padeniya as the respondent.

The petitioners stated that upon the delivery of the said judgment by Court of Appeal, the GMOA has condemned and openly criticised the said judgement demanding the annulment or setting aside of the said judgment.

The petitioners further stated that in this backdrop the GMOA headed by Dr. Padeniya had called for a national front and trade union action against SAITM following Court ruling ordering SAITM medical graduates to be registered with the SLMC. The petitioners stated that on or about April 7, 2017 the GMOA had organised islandwide trade union action against SAITM halting all health services including private practice and private health services to compelstress on the Government to abolish SAITM.

The petitioners stated that the contemptuous statements and comments demonstrate the blatant hatred of the respondent and, the publication of the same in the said speech indubitably disturbs the Court process and hampers and undermines the authority of the Court of Appeal in respect of the administration of justice especially in view of the fact that the said speech was published and telecast on several media and has been uttered by the respondent in a public meeting held under topic of “Abolish the SAITM” on April 4, 2017. The petitioners are pleading that Dr.Padeniya be charged with the offence of Contempt of Court of Appeal under Article 105 (3) of the constitution of the Republic of Sri Lanka.

They are further seeking an Interim Order restraining and preventing the GMOA President from committing, making or publishing further contemptuous statements and articles scandalising the Court of Appeal until the conclusion of this case.

They further urge the imposing of a sentence on the respondent as provided for in Article 105(3) of the Constitution.

President’s Counsel Upul Jayasuriya with counsel Reshaal Sachintha Serasinghe appeared for the petitioners.

Senior Counsel Ravindranath Dabare appeared for the respondent.


 

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