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Sunday, 14 February 2010

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No demos in and around Court complex - Chief Justice

Chief Justice Asoka de Silva said that no one should be allowed to conduct any demonstration or protest campaign in and around the Court Complex.

The Chief Justice made this observation during the proceedings of General Sarath Fonsekaís Fundamental Rights application on Friday.

When the Fundamental Rights application of General Sarath Fonseka was taken up before a three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Friday Deputy Solicitor General S. Rajaratnam, who appeared for the Attorney General told Court that all facilities including General Fonsekaís wife Anoma Fonseka visiting him with lunch, dinner and medicine had been allowed.

DSG Rajaratnam also brought to the notice of the Court that Presidentís Counsel Wijedasa Rajapaksa and a Justice of the Peace had also been permitted to visit General Fonseka to obtain his signature for several legal documents. The three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justice Shiranee Tillakawardena and Justice Chandra Ekanayake heard the Fundamental Rights Applications filed by Ms. Anoma Fonseka, wife of General Sarath Fonseka who was arrested and detained by the Army and the New Democratic Front Secretary Ms. Shamila Perera.

The petitioners cited Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, Officer-in-Charge of Colombo Security Maj. Gen. Sumith Manawadu, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Head of the Military Police Military Marshal Brig. Wijesiri and the Attorney General as respondents.

The Supreme Court granted leave to proceed with the Fundamental Rights Applications filed before Court by Ms. Anoma Fonseka and Ms. Shamila Perera.

In his lengthy submissions DSG Rajaratnam said that the Fundamental Rights applications before Court were not properly constituted and moved Court to dismiss the applications.

Presidentís Counsel Shibly Aziz, Senior Counsel for the petitioners citing several authorities submitted that the Supreme Court had widened its Fundamental Rights jurisdiction beyond what is stated in the Constitution.

Justice Tillakawardena said that one should not merely go by the words in the Constitution, but one should go by the spirit of the Constitution.

After lengthy submissions by the DSG and the Senior Counsel for petitioners, the Court overruled the preliminary objection by the DSG.

The Court will consider granting interim relief on February 23.

DSG Rajaratnam with Senior State Counsel A. Nawaz and Senior State Counsel Nerin Pulle appeared for the Attorney General.

Presidentís Counsel Shibly Aziz with Presidentís Counsel Wijedasa Rajapaksa, Upul Jayasuriya and Chrismai Warnasuriya appeared for the petitioners.

Senior Attorney-at-Law S. L. Gunasekera instructed by Sudath Perera Associates appeared for Major General Sumith Manawadu who is in charge of the Colombo Security.

Senior Attorney Sanjeewa Jayawardena instructed by Sudath Perera Associates appeared for the Chief of the Military Police.

 

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