Sil Redi distribution case; CA concludes oral submissions | Daily News

Sil Redi distribution case; CA concludes oral submissions

The Court of Appeal yesterday concluded oral submissions pertaining to the appeal petitions filed by former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge and former Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Director General Anusha Palpita, challenging Colombo High Court’s judgement to convict them regarding the Sil Redi distribution case.

Accordingly, Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Kumuduni Wickremasinghe and Justice Devika Abeyratne directed the parties to file their written submissions on or before October 23.

On September 7,2017, former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and former TRC Director General 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.

They had been sentenced to three-year-Rigorous Imprisonment by the Colombo High Court.

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 were utilised by them for their personal gains.

They alleged that the conduct and the language used by the trial judge throughout the trial were questionable and unsupported by eveidence. They stated that the trial judge had come to a conclusion that the accused had always acted in compliance with the political culture which prevailed in the country without evidence.

The accused-appellants further said the decision to distribute Sil Redi among the devotees who observe Sill was a government’s policy decision, initiated long before the declaration of the 2015-Presidential Election to implement government’s social development policies.

President’s Counsel Faiz Musthapha with Shavindra Fernando, Counsel Kanchana Ratwatte and Janaka Ranatunga appeared for the appellant accused. Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige with State Counsel Chathuri Wijesinghe appeared for the Attorney General.