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Court of Appeal annuls summons on Prez. over disappearance of human rights activists

2 years ago

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The Court of Appeal has annulled the summons issued on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa by the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court pertaining to case filed over the disappearance of human rights activists Lalith Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganandan.

The Court of Appeal today (24th November 2020) delivering an order based on a preliminary objection raised by the Counsel for Petitioner, upheld an objection and quashed the decision of the Jaffna Magistrates Court to issue summons on the Petitioner. The Court of Appeal upholding the preliminary objection raised by the Petitioner had made an order that a Magistrate cannot mechanically issue summons on any person on a request of a party to be present to administer evidence. Accordingly, the Petitioner will not be required to attend Jaffna Magistrates Court in terms of the summons issued to the Petitioner. Petitioner was represented by Romesh De Silva PC, Sugath Caldera, Harith De Mel, Ruwantha Cooray and instructed by Sanath Wijewardana Attorneys-at-law. The Appeal Court had issued an interim injunction preventing the summoning of Gotabaya Rajapakse on the 27 September 2019 by the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court over the Lalith, Kugan disappearance case. In 2012, a writ of Habeas Corpus was filed in the Court of Appeal to demand the release of Weeraraj and Muruganandan if they were in the custody of the State. An inquiry into the writ commenced at the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court in September 2012.

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