Writ petitions filed by Ravi and six others fixed for argument | Daily News

Writ petitions filed by Ravi and six others fixed for argument

The writ petitions filed by former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and six others in connection with the issuance of Treasury Bonds in March 2016 were yesterday fixed for argument by the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Sobhitha Rajakaruna and Justice Dhammika Ganepola fixed the seven writ petitions to be taken up for argument on March 26.

On a previous occasion, the Court of Appeal had issued an Interim Order staying the operation of arrest warrants issued by Colombo Fort Magistrate against former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and six others in connection with the issuance of Treasury Bonds in March 2016.

This Interim Order will be effective until the final determination of the writ petitions.

The seven petitioners who had been named as the suspects in the Magistrate’s Court, former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, PTL beneficiary owner Arjun Aloysius, PTL Chief Dealer Kasun Palisena, PTL Chairman Jeffrey Joseph Aloysius, Chitta Ranjan Hulugalle, S. Pathumanapan and Indika Saman Kumara had filed these writ petitions challenging the Colombo Fort Magistrate's decision to issue warrant against them.

In his petition, Ravi Karunanayake has been named Attorney General, Acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne, SSP Ampavila, Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake and OIC of the CID Financial Investigation Unit as respondents.

Petitioner Karunanayake stated that the Bond Commission appointed to investigate Treasury Bond issuance never questioned him regarding the meeting held on March 28, 2016 and March 30, 2016 and any alleged link between those meetings and the lease of the apartment.

The petitioner said that the instructions by the Attorney General dated March 3, 2020 was issued within a few hours of the dissolution of Parliament on March 2, 2020.

Ravi Karunanayake stated that the communication issued by the Attorney General is in excess of the powers conferred on the Attorney General under and in terms of Section 393(3)(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act. The petitioner said that the communication issued by the Attorney General deprives the petitioner of a fair and impartial inquiry.

The petitioner further complained that the Colombo Fort Magistrate did not allow his counsel to make submissions against the arrest warrant during the magisterial inquiry in contravention to the rules of natural justice and the provisions contained in the Judicature Act.

The petitioner further stated that the petitioner has learnt that the Colombo Fort Magistrate in another case (B/8266/2018), which related to the issuance of treasury bonds forming the subject matter of the Bond Commission, recused himself on November 8, 2018 from hearing the same when it was brought to his notice by the counsel for the prosecution including State Counsel Udara Karunatilake, who appeared for the prosecution on March 4, 2020 that the Fort Magistrate’s wife is working at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, making it inappropriate for the Magistrate to continue hearing the case and referred the case to the Judicial Service Commission to nominate another Magistrate to hear the case.

The petitioner maintained that the fifth respondent Colombo Fort Magistrate is legally and morally constrained to hear the instance case, which related to the issuance of Treasury Bonds in March 2016.

President’s Counsel Faiz Mustafa with Rienzie Arsecularatne PC, Shavendra Fernando PC, Counsel Udara Muhandiramge appeared for the petitioner Ravi Karunanayake.

President’s Counsel Navin Marapana with counsel Thanuja Meegahawatte, Uchitha Wickremesinghe and Kaushalya Molligoda under the instruction of Sanath Wijewardena appeared for Arjun Aloysius.

Counsel Manoj Bandara with Sudath Perera appeared for Badugoda Hewa Indika Saman Kumara.

Senior Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunatilleke with Senior Deputy Solicitor General Haripriya Jayasundara and Senior State Counsel Lakmini Girihagama appeared for the Attorney General.