BASL to intervene in contempt case against minister


The Bar Council of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) decided yesterday to intervene in the contempt of court case filed by seven senior lawyers against Minister Rishad Bathuideen over alleged threats to the Mannar Magistrate, BASL Secretary Sanjaya Gamage said.

He said the papers to intervene in the contempt proceedings would be filed soon in the Court of Appeal.
The Bar Council, which consists of representatives from all branches of the Bar Association, also decided to request the Attorney General and the IGP to expedite criminal proceedings against the minister and the other suspects who had attacked the court complex on July 18, Mr. Gamage said.

According to BASL secretary, the Bar Council endorsed the July 19 Executive Committee resolution condemning the mob attack and calling for tough action against Minister Bathiudeen.

The Executive Committee meeting also decided to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the offenders, including the minister, ‘to vindicate the honour, dignity, and the respect’ of the judicial officers and the judicial system.
Seven senior lawyers, Geoffrey Alagaratnam, PC, Sunil Cooray, Lal Wijeyanayake, Chandrapala Kumarage, E.C. Feldano, Nalini Kamalika Manatunga and A.S.M. Perera, PC initiated the contempt proceedings against the minister in the Court of Appeal.

Court of Appeal Judge W.L. Ranjith Silva on Thursday issued a rule on Minister Bathiudeen to appear in court on September 5 to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt of court allegedly threatening the Mannar Magistrate.
President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva PC appearing for the lawyers told court that petitioners being senior lawyers of the Bar, initiated the proceedings in the public interest.He told court that the petitioners wanted to ensure that there would be no repetition of similar incidents interfering with the functioning of the courts in the future.

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